the proper way to brush your teeth, el dorado dental, santa fe dentist

A Santa Fe Dentist Settles the Argument: The Proper Way to Brush your Teeth

Most of us have heard it throughout our whole childhood, “Brush your teeth right!” The amazing Santa Fe Dentist Dr. Haley Ritchey DDS is going to make sure you know how to do this by the time you finish reading this article. Thanks to her expertise, and the help of the American Dental Association we have constructed the ultimate guide to the proper way to brush your teeth.  Always remember: If you ignore your teeth, they will go away.

The Proper Technique

  • Brush at a 45° angle
  • Brush twice a day
  • Brush for 2 minutes
  • Brush each tooth
  • Use tip of the brush to get behind teeth
  • Use up and down strokes on sides, and an elliptical motion
  • Use a firm, but not hard pressure
  • Brush your tongue

The Proper Angle

The American Dental Association and most dentists will recommend that you tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle when you brush. When you do this, it ensures that you get the bristles slightly under the gumline. This helps to properly clean your gums in the crevices where the tooth meets the gum. If you are not sure what a 45-degree angle is, picture a big swing set, like the ones on the schoolyard when you were a kid. If you were to put one of them on its side, the legs of it would be about a 45-degree angle.

The Proper Pressure

When you brush your teeth it is important to apply the correct pressure. You don’t want to press too soft because you could end up leaving unwanted particles on your teeth. You don’t want to press too hard because you could cause damage to the enamel and harm the gums. Instead of using a death grip on your toothbrush and shoving it in there the way you would a toilet plunger, try using just a finger and a thumb and apply a moderate amount of pressure. Not too hard, not too soft, just somewhere in between in the happy medium.

The Proper Toothbrush

When it comes to the proper toothbrush it all depends on the person. In general, most dentists agree that the soft-bristled brush is the best for removing plaque and other undesirables from the teeth. Using a brush with a smaller head is effective in being able to reach everywhere in the mouth. It is important to cover every part of the gum line and teeth when brushing because it reduces plaque buildup. If you consistently miss areas of your teeth when brushing, you risk buildup and cavities. Power toothbrushes are popular as well and are very effective. Some brands even include an indicator light that shows when you are using too much pressure.

Be Mindful of the Gums

Healthy gums are essential for total body health. Gums are what hold the teeth in, and if they become ill with gum disease you can ultimately lose your teeth. By using the 45-degree angle you help to ensure a deeper cleaning that gets under the gumline and keeps that area free of debris. When brushing your teeth be sure to include your gums every time. This will help keep them happy and healthy so they can continue to house your teeth.

Brush Your Tongue

Although your tongue does not have a huge impact on your teeth and gums, it can become kind of nasty if it gets buildup on it. This nastiness can cause bad breath, and an unpleasant taste perpetually in your mouth. It is always a good idea to get your brush in there and give it a good cleaning while you are there. A couple of extra minutes a day to make sure your tongue is clean and happy could save you a lot of embarrassment from walking around with monkey breath.

Brush Twice a Day

The American Dental Association and most dentists agree that people should brush their teeth two times a day for two minutes each time. The Santa Fe Dental Office, El Dorado Dental, agrees with this as well. Two times a day is adequate to maintain a healthy smile and good dental hygiene. Any more than two times in a day can risk overbrushing. Overbrushing can eventually cause problems such as abrasion, or even sensitive teeth and receding gums. Not enough brushing can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and many other tooth problems that are completely avoidable.


Yes, this article is about the proper way to brush your teeth, but we have to mention flossing. When you use dental floss you get in between the teeth where the brush can’t reach. When you do this you remove plaque and buildup that causes cavities and gum inflation. By adding a floss session to each time you brush your teeth you make your teeth and gums happy and add health to your body.

Come Visit Us

What did you learn on the proper way to brush your teeth?  This Santa Fe dentist office would be happy to have you visit. You can contact us or schedule an appointment easily and quickly. Come meet our staff and see for yourself why people call us the best dentist office in Santa Fe.