A Better Way to Brush

When you brush your teeth, do you brush up and down or side to side? Which is the best way to brush is a question dental researchers have been grappling with for many years. And now with the rise of electric toothbrushes that features spinning brush heads, the debate is even more complicated.

So which is the best way to brush? The answer may surprise you.

Why We Brush

To get to the bottom of the brushing debate, consider the original purpose of brushing your teeth. Brushing helps remove debris that builds up on the surfaces of your teeth. And combined with flossing, it also can get the food pieces that can get stuck between teeth as well.

Toothpaste contains a mile abrasive that can help dislodge stains and stubborn food particles that can stick to tooth surfaces. So brushing regularly — at least twice daily — can help keep your teeth cleaner, whiter, and healthier.

Consistency over Style

Brushing up and down and side to side essentially do the same thing. As long as the bristles of your toothbrush get both the tooth surface and the areas in between, brushing your teeth regularly can effectively keep food particles, staining liquids, and other undesirable substances from remaining on your teeth too long.

Electric toothbrushes offer both speed and novelty to the brushing debate. It’s normal for people to want to brush their teeth more frequently when the action is both new and fun, like when you get an electric toothbrush for the first time.

So the bottom line is that how you brush your teeth isn’t as important as that you do it regularly. If the technique you use is working, why change it? Instead, keep brushing your teeth, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly and you can enjoy a bright, healthy smile for many years to come.