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Tooth brushing will remove dental plaque and other debris from your teeth. Plaque plays a primary role in oral disease such as tooth decay and gum disease. The best way to remove plaque from the tooth surface on a daily home care basis is through toothbrushing and some form of "between the teeth" cleaning.

The following toothbrush technique is commonly recommended by dental hygienists. You should see your dental hygienist to ensure that you are using a technique that meets your needs.

Use a soft bristled brush (synathetic bristles preferably because natural bristles tend to harbor the oral bacteria as the bristles are more porous). Be sure it is the right size (generally smaller is better than larger).

Place the bristles at a 45 degree angle to the teeth. Slide the tips of the brush under the gums.

Jiggle the bristles very gently so that any plaque growing under the gum will be removed.

Be sure to brush the outside, the tongue side and the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

For the front teeth, brush the inside surfaces of the upper and lower jaws by tilting the brush vertically and making several up and down strokes with the front part of the brush over the teeth and gum tissues.

Brushing your tongue will help freshen your breath. Debris and bacteria can collect on your tongue and cause bad breath.

Your toothbrush will only clean one or two teeth at a time. Change its position to properly clean each tooth.

To prevent plaque damage, be sure to brush at least once every day, preferably at bedtime. Adding a brush time after breakfast increases your chances of thorough daily plaque removal.

Don’t rush your brush. A thorough brushing should take at least 3 minutes.

Brushing the teeth too vigorously or using a hard bristled toothbrush causes the gums to recede and exposes root surfaces. It also wears down the tooth structure. Both of these conditions can lead to tooth sensitivity.

A pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste is all you need, should you choose to use a toothpaste. Replace your brush when the bristles begin to spread. A worn out toothbrush will not properly clean your teeth.