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Brushing your teeth regularly is an important part of your dental routine. It helps prevent conditions like tooth decay, bad breath and gingivitis. Also, flossing your teeth before brushing is important as it cleans the tiny crevices between your teeth.
Brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush stimulates the gums, helps to keep them healthy and prevents bleeding of the gums.
It is recommended by the American Dental Association that one should brush their teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush using an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste.
How To Brush Your Teeth Correctly
1. Choose the correct toothpaste
Wet your brush and apply a thin strip of fluoride toothpaste on it. Always choose a toothpaste which contains fluoride as it protects against cavities and prevents tooth decay.
2. Brush at the gum line at a 45-degree angle
Put your teeth together and start brushing in short, circular motion starting at the gum line at a 45-degree angle. And don't brush your teeth in a horizontal direction. Brush for 2 to 3 minutes in this way.
3. Brush your upper molars
Then, start brushing on your back teeth or upper molars, on one side of the mouth and work in a clockwise direction. Work your toothbrush in an in-and-out motion and move from the back of your mouth to the front. Repeat this on the other side of the mouth.
4. Brush your lower molars
In a clockwise direction, brush your lower molars on one side of the mouth for 2 to 3 minutes. Then shift to the other side of the mouth and repeat it.
5. Brush the inside of the teeth
Open your teeth wide open and with the help of the tip of the toothbrush, brush the interior of the lower front and upper front teeth in a vertical angle. This is the most commonly skipped area.
6. Brush the tongue and inside the cheeks
You should also clean the tongue and inside of the cheeks because they also contain plaque, food particles and bacteria that make your mouth smell. With the help of a toothbrush in a gentle, circular motion, thoroughly brush your tongue, roof of the mouth and inside of the cheeks.
7. Rinse your mouth and toothbrush
Lastly, take a sip of water, swish it around your mouth and spit it out. Wash your toothbrush under running water to remove any bacteria from the brush.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How many times a day should you brush your teeth?
A. It is important that you brush once in the morning after waking up and once before bedtime after completing your meal 
Q. How long should you brush your teeth?
A. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes twice a day. Brushing less than 2 minutes doesn't help in the reduction of plaque  .
Q. How long is too long for brushing teeth?
A. Oral healthcare professionals advise brushing your teeth for a minimum of two minutes, twice a day.
According to the Journal of Dental Hygiene, the effect of brushing time on plaque removal was analysed across a range of time periods. The researchers found that patients who brushed for 45 seconds removed 26% less plaque as compared to patients who brushed for 2 minutes. Patients who brushed for 30 seconds removed 55% less plaque than brushing for 3 minutes  .
Q. How often should you change your toothbrush?
A. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months as withered bristles don't keep the teeth clean or remove plaque effectively.
Q. What happens if you don't change your toothbrush?
A. Not replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months can damage your gums and teeth. Also changing your toothbrush prevents bacteria from building up in the bristles, thus keeping your gums and teeth healthy  .
-  Attin, T., & Hornecker, E. (2005). Tooth brushing and oral health: how frequently and when should tooth brushing be performed?.Oral health & preventive dentistry,3(3).
-  Gallagher, A., Sowinski, J., Bowman, J., Barrett, K., Lowe, S., Patel, K., ... & Creeth, J. E. (2009). The effect of brushing time and dentifrice on dental plaque removal in vivo.American Dental Hygienists' Association,83(3), 111-116.
-  Conforti, N. J., Cordero, R. E., Liebman, J., Bowman, J. P., Putt, M. S., Kuebler, D. S., ... & Warren, P. R. (2003). An investigation into the effect of three months' clinical wear on toothbrush efficacy: results from two independent studies.The Journal of clinical dentistry,14(2), 29-33.
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