Healthier gums need gentle brushing
In this video I demonstrate how to brush your teeth correctly so that you can clean the enamel thoroughly, without hurting your gums in the process.
Incorrect toothbrushing technique can contribute to receding gums, bleeding gums and even gum disease so brushing the right way does more than just clean your teeth, it protects your gums.
Choosing a toothbrush
Electric or manual, the most important quality is the softness of the bristles. Always choose the softest bristles you can find.
An electric toothbrush will exaggerate the risks of poor brushing technique so I recommend practicing correct brushing with a manual toothbrush before you start using an electric.
Electric brushes are especially valuable for people who have trouble keeping their wisdom or back molars clean. They are also helpful for people who don’t have enough strength or stamina to brush thoroughly for 2-3 minutes at a time.
No white knuckles
Are you squeezing the toothbrush handle in a death grip? A tight, white knuckled grip at the base of the handle means you are probably brushing too hard!
Practice holding the brush lightly between your finger tips, near the bristles. This way you have more fine motor control.
Gently polish each surface of each tooth individually with a gentle flicking motion, moving the bristles away from the gums.
One of the ways that gums are attached to the teeth is with microscopic fibres that can break really easily, so never push the tips of the bristles into the gum line.
To clean the enamel closest to the gums place the sides of the bristles against the gum line, so the tips of the bristles are touching the enamel. Then just wriggle the bristles in place. It will be easier to understand if you watch the video!
Take your time
If this is a new way of brushing for you, take as long as you need to retrain your muscle memory to the new grip and motions of gentle brushing. Even once you have the hang of it, toothbrushing thoroughly and gently should take you at least 2-3 minutes each time.
Rather than resenting and rushing through your oral hygiene every day, treat it as a mini moving meditation where you have a chance to lavish yourself with loving attention.
Hello! I'm Meliors Simms, the Holistic Tooth Fairy.
As a natural oral health coach I have worked with hundreds of clients worldwide to avoid unnecessary dental procedures and have better experiences with the necessary ones. (Find out about my coaching services here).
After a diverse career (from research to counselling to arts) and a lifetime of terrible teeth, I stumbled on an Alt Oral approach which prevented what would have been my 7th root canal.
That inspired years of independent research and experimentation, eventually resulting in my uniquely holistic approach to oral health.
My new book The Secret Lives of Teeth is a comprehensive guide to healing teeth and gums with metaphysical perspective. Read a sample here for free.