The Proper Way to Brush

Use the right tools


Know the right type to use for healthy teeth.

  • Make sure it contains fluoride which helps prevent cavities.
  • Always choose toothpaste that has the American Dental Association seal of approval.
  • Be aware: Toothpastes that claim to whiten teeth or control tartar can damage tooth enamel.


The easier it is to use, the more likely you are to use it.

  • A good toothbrush is the right size for your mouth. Don't get one with a large scrubbing surface if your mouth is small.
  • A soft-bristled brush is best. Stiff bristles can damage tooth enamel, which can't be replaced.
  • Electric vs. manual? Both are fine if used correctly, though electric toothbrushes may be easier for some people.

Use the right technique

Proper brushing makes all the difference.

  • Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
  • Use short, side-to-side strokes.

Gently brush all tooth surfaces including hard-to-reach areas like your back molars.

Brushing too hard can wear down your tooth enamel. If you use an electric toothbrush, let it do the work.

Take your time

  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Take at least 2-3 minutes to brush your entire mouth
  • Change your toothbrush with the seasons (every 3-4 months)