Help For Bad Brushers

There are 3  basic reasons why the teeth are not properly cleaned:

1. The most common reason is “forgetting” or “no time”. 

Unfortunately this does not cut much ice with dental plaque and you could end up with permanent damage to the tooth enamel and gums. Remember, the hardest thing is to actually start a routine. Once you get into the habit, it becomes easy – but only you can do this!

Try to brush your teeth 3 times per day after each meal!

Use a timer  (e.g. clock) and make sure you keep brushing for at least 5 minutes by the timer.


2. Poor cleaning technique –

You are brushing your teeth 3 times a day with a good bush and spending the 5 minutes each time but the teeth are still not clean!

You need to check and correct your technique:

Are you angling the tooth brush bristles correctly towards the gums and the brackets?

Try using a spiral brush to clean under the wire

Use a disclosing tablet or disclosing drops each night for 1-2 weeks to help you see where the plaque is being left behind when you brush

Follow this routine:

First brush your teeth as well as you can for 5 minutes.

Next, rinse your mouth then apply the disclosing dye and swish it around the teeth. Rinse your mouth again and check in the mirror. Any plaque left on the teeth will be stained a light pink colour. Brush the teeth again until all the pink stain is removed.

After 1-2 weeks of this routine you should have a pretty good idea of which areas you need to concentrate on during cleaning!


The photos above show the teeth before disclosing dye is placed. The middle photo shows the pink stain on all the teeth, indicating extensive plaque on the teeth. The right hand slide shows the teeth clean after all the pink stain is brushed off.


3. Poor equipment

Make sure you tooth brush has soft, straight bristles and a small head to allow good access, especially in the molar teeth. A brush with bent or “dog eared” bristles, will not do the job properly.

Use a spiral brush  and if possible, floss at least once a day as well.

If you have difficulty doing the circular brushing action properly, consider using an electric tooth brush instead.