Easier solutions to brushing teeth exist (abstaining from eating and keeping your mouth closed), but I wouldn’t recommend them. Even if you don’t floss regularly or use mouthwash (I skip them occasionally), you need to give your mouth its own kind of washing.

People brush their teeth everyday, at least I hope so. We go through the monotony of scrubbing our pearly whites, but do we do it effectively? I have given some detailed thought about this hygiene routine, including the extra oral activities related to it.

Getting Started: Get a brush (not a hair brush) that only you use (it’s good manners not to share). Wet the brush with clean water (don’t use swamp water or someone’s saliva). Squeeze an appropriate amount of toothpaste onto the bristles. Please do not to let the toothpaste drop into the sink and reuse it. Now you are now prepared to proceed to the next step.

With the mouth open, rub the toothpaste on your teeth. Brush each tooth. Use short, quick strokes. A motorized toothbrush can help if you are lazy or in a hurry, but you still need to move your hand a bit. I was always told the order was front, outsides, the insides, then the chewing surface of the tooth, but I don’t see this as a requirement. A tip for brushing inner and outer sides is to focus your brushing at the gum line. If you do this, you’ll also reach your teeth. Don’t forget the back, especially if you have wisdom teeth.

Brush your tongue. A specifically designed tongue brush might do a better job of scraping the white gunk off your tongue.

Floss after brushing. Why? Well, after flossing you dislodge the grime in between your teeth with dental floss. Not all of it is removed, but rinsing will get it off. Brushing after flossing will sweep away some of the leftovers, but it may sweep it back in the places you had already flossed. (If there is a demand, I might do a separate floss tutorial.)

Use a mouthwash afterwards, not before. If you do it beforehand, you are brushing off the ingredients of the mouthwash which reduces the efficacy of rinsing with mouthwash to get the fresh breath sensation.

Other tips and facts:

-Plaque and bacteria are more active during the night.
-Keep your toothbrush clean. If it sits open and near a toilet, conceal it or put it away. Flushing can spray fecal particles around a whole bathroom. Alvin Powell gives advice and information about the aerosolized particle effect.
-Replace brush at least every 3 months.
-Soft bristles are recommended. It won’t damage your teeth. In addition, be gentle and never treat your teeth harshly.