Does more toothpaste mean cleaner teeth?

Most people think using a larger quantity of toothpaste ensures cleaner teeth. But in reality it is the right technique of brushing that gets better results. In fact, brushing improperly, using more paste can be injurious to the teeth. Imagine using something abrasive, like sandpaper for instance, on the same spot over and over again. Initially of course you get a nice, polished surface. But if you keep at it, you may even succeed at scraping away a few layers, that were meant to stay.

That is the same principle involved in brushing. You want to use just enough quantity of paste and pressure on the brush to get rid of the plaque adherent to your tooth, without abrading away precious tooth structure. A dab of toothpaste and gentle pressure on the tooth would be sufficient to ensure clean teeth (unlike the typical – toothpaste enough to cover the head of the toothbrush), especially when you brush twice daily. This is also the reason why dentists recommend soft brushes. But it really depends on the amount of pressure you apply while brushing, level of your gums and a couple of other factors. Your dentist can recommend the right brushing technique for you, based on these criteria.

A word of advice to those who brush, while doing a hundred other things, simultaneously. When you are not concentrating on what you are doing, usually you may be brushing the same spot over and over again, zealously. Each of us have our own comfort zones of easy-to-brush areas. We may not even be touching those areas of the tooth that are hard to clean, and we assume we have a done good job of brushing, cause we have brushed for the required 2 minutes. The importance of brushing consciously, and covering all surfaces of the teeth cannot be over emphasized. Otherwise in essence, you will be abrading away the tooth structure, which can only result in sensitivity in all those areas.

The recommended brushing technique, generally for normal and healthy teeth, is a 45 degree angulation of the toothbrush aiming at the junction of the tooth and the surrounding gums, covering approximately 3 teeth at a time (instead of scrubbing down the whole section in one go). The junction at which your teeth and gums meet, harbors more plaque. This should be followed by a sweeping away of the plaque from the remaining surfaces. Both the inside (the ones facing the palate and the tongue) and the outside (the ones facing the lips & cheeks) surfaces of the teeth need to be cleaned, followed by the biting surfaces. The tongue also needs to be cleaned gently using a toothbrush or a tongue cleaner. This is to remove any plaque build up on the tongue and in between the taste buds as this can lead to bad breath. No toothpaste is required for this, but don’t be too vigorous with it that you injure your tongue in the process.

Remember to change your brush as soon as the bristles begin to get frayed, since they do not clean as effectively as before. And if your brush constantly gets frayed in a month, please understand that you are applying too much pressure on your teeth while brushing.

Here’s a video on how to brush:

2 Responses to “Does more toothpaste mean cleaner teeth?”

  1. Meagan January 24, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Awesome reminder! :) I tend to forget that, as I know others do as well! Sometimes its easy to just put more tooth paste on there when you are in a hurry, and to brush poorly. But in reality, more tooth paste doesnt do anything! Thanks again :)


  1. 5 myths about oral care that you may have taken seriously | Basic Oral Care - March 22, 2012

    [...] Brushing using more force or for longer periods results in cleaner teeth. This is not true. It is the technique of brushing that is important. The right technique ensures removal of plaque without excessive abrasion of the enamel on your teeth. Brushes that get worn out in a month indicate you are applying too much pressure on your teeth while brushing. [...]

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