Regular control visits to the dentist combined with careful dental care by the patient, can maintain a healthy state of the gums and teeth, as well as reduce the risk of the appearance of different oral pathologies. Using an adequate brushing technique and better if it is from childhood leads the patient to contribute to oral health.

Tooth brushing is an oral hygiene procedure that aims to disorganize and interfere with the formation of bacterial plaque, along with the elimination of food debris. The ultimate goal of tooth brushing is to remove plaque from all surfaces of the oral cavity.

There are different techniques to perform daily oral hygiene, but any of them assumes its effectiveness and success in following a pre-established order to this must be added a very important factor, the time that is dedicated to it.

To have optimal oral hygiene one of the important points is create a habit from a young age and manage to maintain it, in addition you must be meticulous when performing hygiene, you should not forget your tongue and that portion of free gum that must also be taken into account, since it is one of the locations that tends to have more accumulation of bacterial plaque, because due to its anatomy it can act as a pocket.

A good option to always follow the same order: start hygiene on the outer face of the upper right teeth, reaching the opposite end of the upper jaw, In the lower arch, the same order must be followed and finally we will go to the internal face of the teeth repeating the route, then we proceed to the chewing part of teeth and the dental edges, after teeth and molars we must not forget the tongue, previously we must have rinsed the toothbrush to proceed with the hygiene of the tongue, it is important that the route is from back to front.

The duration of a good brushing technique includes a time range between 3 and 4 minutes, the ideal frequency is three times a day, after each meal, completing the hygiene of the interproximal surfaces, with dental floss or interproximal brushes.

Most patients in adulthood do not do this, there are systems to be aware of how long it takes to brush and time it with the duration of a song. To brush the teeth optimally, we must make short and soft movements, emphasizing the free gum point between it and the teeth, as well as when there are restorations, crowns or areas that are difficult to access.

We should ideally follow the following protocol:

  • Sanitize external surfaces of upper and lower teeth.
  • Sanitize the internal surfaces of the upper teeth and the lower teeth.
  • Sanitize chewing surfaces.
  • Not forgetting to brush your tongue.


Brushing techniques are classified according to the position and movement of the brush. Some of the most frequent are: horizontal sweep, vertical sweep and vibratory techniques.

Next, we go on to explain some of the most used techniques for the choice of these it will go according to the type of patient and the state of health that this presents.

The sweep horizontal it is what most people use. Being the easiest to perform, it is the one adopted by individuals who have never received brushing training. It is usually used in children ages, since it is the easiest technique to use. The filaments are placed perpendicular to the tooth surface and a scrubbing motion is made from back to front and vice versa. This technique is indicated for supragingival plaque control.

The sweep vertical, is the same as the horizontal sweep technique, but with up and down movements. It is also indicated for supragingival plaque control. The main vertical brushing techniques are:

  • The sweep technique It is indicated for young patients with good periodontal health. The brush is placed perpendicular to the tooth axis, pointing apical and exerting light pressure on the gums. Wrist twist movements are made so that the brush sweeps over the dental surfaces.
  • The vertical technique It is the execution of dental cleaning by means of a vertical movement (up and down) of the teeth, except the occlusal surfaces.
  • The modified Stillman’s technique recommended for cleaning areas with gingival recession to minimize abrasive tissue destruction. This technique is the same as that of Stillman, with the difference that after each vibratory movement, the brush is displaced with a sweeping movement in the occlusal direction.
  • In the bass technique, the filaments are placed in the gingival sulcus and in the interproximal areas at an angle of 45 ° with respect to the long axis of the tooth and a final vertical sweep is made from the gingiva.

The techniques vibratory, among them are:

  • The bass technique modified, especially useful in periodontal patients. This is the technique most recommended by all doctors. It is considered the most effective technique and with which much more hygiene is achieved, in a hurry. It is similar to the Bass technique but vibratory or reciprocating movements are performed anteroposteriorly of 2mm (10-15 movements in each sector). The subgingival plaque is removed by capillarity, and the supragingival plaque, by the filaments that are not in the groove. The modified Stillman technique is similar to the previous one, but with circular or rotating movements.
  • The Stillman’s brushing technique aims to massage, stimulate the gums and clean the cervical areas of the teeth. It is indicated for children older than 7 years. The brush head is positioned at a 45º angle (towards apical) in relation to the axis of the teeth. The filaments are placed over the gingival margin and light pressure is exerted with a vibrating motion (15 seconds for every two teeth) and the brush is removed.
  • The Charters technique Its purpose is to massage the gums gently. It is recommended for cleaning healing areas after periodontal surgery and adults with periodontitis. It involves placing the brush at a 45º angle, towards the incisal or occlusal. The filaments flex against the gingiva and by means of a reciprocating vibratory movement, they penetrate into the interproximal space.

In any of the techniques described, the important thing is to do it carefully, with adequate time using the appropriate brush. Complementing this hygiene with the use of dental floss or interproximal brush as appropriate, in addition to using a mouthwash that contains fluoride in order to protect the enamel from cavities. The frequency of brushing is another important factor to avoid the accumulation of plaque and the possible existence or development of oral halitosis.



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