A Guide to Brushing Your Teeth Properly

brushing your teeth properlyShould you use a natural brush made from animal hair, or a softer one with bristles made of nylon? Should you brush horizontally, in a circular motion, or whatever feels best at the moment? While opinions may differ, the fact remains; the best way to brush your teeth, and thereby prevent most dental health issues from forming, is to make sure that you clean them of plaque and food particles that could lead to serious dental issues.

The Need for Clean Teeth

When you run your tongue across your teeth, or happen to take a close look at them in the mirror, you might occasionally notice a sticky, uncomfortable film covering them. Known as dental plaque, the film is produced by (and contains) hundreds of kinds of oral bacteria, some of which lead to serious dental issues if ignored. To effectively control bacteria and plaque, be sure to brush every surface of every tooth, especially along the gum line, and floss between them at least twice every day.

Make Every Second Count

  • Start with a soft-bristled toothbrush whose packaging is stamped with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Harsher bristles can damage your tooth enamel; the protective, semi-translucent layer around your teeth.
  • For best results, brush your teeth in front of a mirror (instead of while walking around doing something else). Be sure to brush every tooth surface, even if you don’t see any plaque on them.
  • The bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease (the leading cause of tooth loss) tend to gather along the line where your teeth meet your gums. Using a horizontal motion, brush along the gum line, angling the brush to allow the bristles the leverage they need.
  • Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, which can bond with the minerals in your tooth enamel to strengthen your teeth’s protection. After brushing your teeth, wait a few minutes before rinsing to allow the toothpaste time to work on your enamel.


Awarded America’s Top Dentist since 2008, Neda Sayyah, DMD, is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), and is certified in the use of dental sedation through the DOCS Education program. Dr. Sayyah is also certified to provide Invisalign® clear braces for teens and adults. To learn more, call our office today at 425-688-0197, or email us at exceptionaldds@gmail.com. Located in Bellevue, WA, we proudly serve patients from Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Seattle, Mercer Island, and all surrounding communities.