How to brush your teeth without damaging gums

How to brush your teeth & choosing a toothbrush

How to brush your teeth properly

  • Tilt the toothbrush at 45-degree angle to the teeth. Start where gum line and teeth meet.

  • Move the brush in gentle circles (to protect tooth enamel); DO NOT SCRUB. For the front teeth - use the "toe" (front) part of the brush. The key is to do it gently.

  • Brush your tongue to get rid of bacteria and for fresh breath.

  • Brush your teeth for at least two (2) minutes.

The Truth About Your Toothbrush


When you are reaching for your toothbrush each morning, you need to know a little bit about what is hanging out on its surface.

Bacteria and some viruses from infected person's mouth can live for weeks on a toothbrush bristles and continue to get cause illnesses to linger longer.

Even healthy microorganisms can cause infections, especially if they enter gum tissue as a result of the break, an injury or an oral ulcer.

Clean your toothbrush

You may not give much thought to clean your toothbrush since you’re wetting it every day to clean your teeth.

Wash your toothbrush regularly. 

Give your toothbrush a thorough rinse with water to remove the debris left after brushing. If you had a cold, illness or immune disorder, you might want to soak it in mouthwash to kill the bacteria.

Store your toothbrush properly. After using it, don't leave that wet toothbrush in the drawer, cabinet or the closed container.

Store your toothbrush in an upright position in the cup, where it can dry out. You can look for a cover that lets air circulate, but it's not entirely sealed, as lack of air can help bacteria and mould to grow.

Lakefront Family Dental recommends storing your toothbrush at least 6 feet away from your toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush. Where do you store your toothbrush? 

How long should we brush our teeth?

Dentists agree, that brushing teeth regularly twice a day should be for at least two (2) full minutes. Divide your teeth into four (4) sections and brush each section for at least 30 seconds. Allow your teeth to get an excellent scrabbing.

How often should you change your toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months because bristles wear out. Choose soft bristles toothbrush to make sure it is gentle on your gums, yet still removes plaque and food particles when you are brushing. Changing your toothbrush regularly will help avoid bacteria build-up on the toothbrush and is good for overall oral hygiene.

Electric toothbrushes need to be treated the same and replacement heads should be changed every 3-4 months.

Which is the best toothpaste to use

Similar to toothbrushes, choices are abundant when it comes to toothpaste. Our dentist gets this question often: which is the best toothpaste to use? Look for fluoride toothpaste, it contains fluoride, check for the Canadian Dental Association symbol. Fluoride in the toothpaste helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease and is good for your oral health.

Use a small amount of toothpaste when brushing your teeth.

Is brushing teeth once a day enough?

Our dentist frequently gets this question, how often should you brush your teeth?

Brushing twice a day is essential for your dental health and brushing before bed gets rid of harmful bacteria which accumulates through the day. What else stays in your mouth? Sugar, which is food for bacteria that causes dental cavities. Brushing and flossing help to remove bacteria. Brushing before bed encourages good oral health habits.

Toothbrush sharing

This is an interesting question, and most people find it surprising that sharing your toothbrush is not a good idea. What does brushing your teeth do? During brushing, you transfer saliva and bacteria on your toothbrush - even the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Tooth decay considered an infection disease - meaning that it can be transferred when a toothbrush is shared. A good reason not to share it or borrow it.

Talk to your dentist if you still have questions about your dental care. If you notice blood when brushing teeth, it could be a sign of early stages of gum disease, swollen gums or other dental problems. Schedule your appointment to avoid small issues before they turn into bigger and more expensive dental procedures.