1. Always use a soft toothbrush and run it under warm water for several seconds before brushing to soften it further and to reduce any cold sensitivity you may have. Medium and hard bristled brushes remove plaque no more effectively and can cause tooth wear gum recession.
2. Angle the brush under your gumline at 45 degrees using a gentle circular motion to clean food particles out from beneath your gums. Brush small areas (two or three teeth at a time) overlapping areas as you go.
Angling the toothbrush straight in is best when brushing the insides of front teeth.
3. Tap your brush against the side of the sink when you have finished to remove residual water that contains high levels of bacteria.
4. If you brush only once a day, make sure you do it at night before retiring. Saliva protects your teeth and gums by keeping the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease in check. Your salivary flow is decreased during sleep due to a slowing of your metabolism and mouth breathing, among other things. This is why your mouth tastes like an old shoe when you wake in the morning. If food particles and plaque remain on your teeth and under your gums while you sleep, your risk for tooth decay and gum disease increases.
5. Replace your toothbrush at least every three months (every month is ideal).
6. Remember, it is just as important to floss as it is to brush. Only flossing cleans out the areas between your teeth where they touch each other. Brushing cannot accomplish this task and food particles or plaque left between your teeth will cause tooth decay and gum disease.