You can increase the efficiency of your tooth brushing by eighty percent by changing one thing, the length of your brushing stroke. You want the ends of the tooth brush bristles to remain still on the teeth while the brush handle wiggles back and forth while pushing the bristles between the teeth.
Most people do the Long Scrub back and forth with the bristle tips dragging across the teeth and gums.
Short Scrub or Wiggle
Consider modifying this slightly and do the Short Scrub or Wiggle, the same motion just shorter with the bristle tips not dragging across the teeth but being pushed between the teeth.
Up and Down
The up and down stroke is good but If you have used the long scrub your whole life it is very difficult to change that to the up and down motion but it is very easy to slightly modify the long scrub to the short scrub or wiggle. Just use the same back and forth motion that you have always done just shorter.
Wiggle, move to the next spot. Wiggle, move to the next spot. All the same back and forth wiggle motion with a light pressure to push the bristles between the teeth, until you have done the front, back and tops of all your teeth.
Gum Damage with the Long Scrub
Dragging the bristle tips back and forth across the teeth with the long scrub rips tender gum tissue cells off causing the gums to recede.
Root Surface Damage with the Long Scrub
Over the years as the gum recedes or is abraded by the Long Scrub and the soft root surface of the tooth is exposed. The bristle tips then cut into the soft root like a saw or axe causing V cuts in the roots just like the V cut in a tree by using an axe.
The Best Tooth Brush
See my blog soon to post on Good Tooth Brush-Bad Tooth Brush for details on the best brush for this technique. Until then just use the one you have.
So Wiggle, Don’t Scrub
So in summary, wiggle, move, wiggle, move, wiggle, move. Do the same motion you have always done just shorter with the tooth brush bristles going between the teeth not dragging across them. Visit our website.
Thomas N. Pezdek, DDS PA
412-D East Williams St.
Apex, NC 27502
Mon - Thu: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM