Tooth Brushing Techniques

March 08, 2020


Tooth Brushing Techniques
The Bass tooth brushing technique concentrates on cleaning dental plaque around the gum line. It is also known as the sulcus cleaning method
Fones tooth brushing technique for anterior teeth - the patient presses the bristles lightly on the teeth and moves the toothbrush in circular motions
Fones tooth brushing technique for posterior teeth. It is also known as circular/scrub brushing method. The patient moves the toothbrush bristles in circular motions
Bass tooth brushing technique and Modified Bass method for brushing teeth
Charter brushing technique involves placing the toothbrush between the teeth and angled towards the crown. The brush is vibrated gently on the surface to clean dental plaque
Smith brushing technique - the bristles are moved from the crown towards the gum line. The toothbrush is moved upwards for the upper teeth and downwards for the lower teeth
Stillman brushing technique - the bristles of the toothbrush are placed at the gum line and rolled towards the crown of the teeth along with back and forth strokes

Most people brush their teeth quickly without paying much attention to the correct procedure. Nor do they give enough time for a thorough cleaning. This leads to inadequate dental hygiene and ultimately dental disease. The fact is that there are different types of brushing techniques, each with their own set of advantages in specific conditions.

 

Let’s take a look at the different brushing techniques:

 


Bass Brushing Technique

 

The Bass brushing technique lays emphasis on cleaning dental plaque on the gum line. It is also known as the sulcus cleaning method. When we brush our teeth we often neglect the gum line where most bacteria reside.

 

• Method

The toothbrush bristles are placed at gum line and are tilted at an angle of 45. They are then moved in a circular action. The circular movement should be small, covering 3 teeth at a time. Each set of 3 teeth should be brushed about 15-20 times. The same action is carried out on the inner side of the teeth, the only difference being that the brush is put inside in a vertical position and the bristles are angled at about 45 degrees. The chewing surfaces of the teeth are also brushed in a circular motion. For those who find it difficult to tilt the bristles can also place them parallel to the teeth.


• Advantages

It removes plaque efficiently and provides stimulation to the gums. It is recommended in the case of gum recession and exposed roots. Its major advantage is that it is easy to learn.


• Disadvantages

As it is placed at the gum line, it can lacerate the gums if too much pressure is applied while brushing. It demands too much time and a certain level of hand dexterity is also required.

 

 

Modified Bass Brushing Technique

 

• Method 

The Modified Bass Brushing Technique is similar to the Bass brushing technique and the bristle placement is the same. The only modification is that an upward sweeping movement is added for the lower teeth. On the other hand, a lower sweeping movement is used for the upper teeth, moving everything towards the chewing surface.


• Advantages

The addition of the sweeping movement removes food debris and plaque from the gum line more efficiently. It is also good at cleaning between the teeth.


• Disadvantages

The disadvantages are similar to that of the Bass Technique where overzealous brushing can damage the gum line. Besides a good level of wrist dexterity is needed.

 

Charter brushing technique

 

• Method

The Charter brushing technique involves placing the toothbrush between the teeth and angled towards the crown. The brush is vibrated gently on the surface for about 10 times. Then it is placed at the next set of interdental space. Again a soft to medium soft bristle toothbrush is preferred.


• Advantage

This technique is meant for people who have fixed braces, bands and prostheses. It is also advised for patients who have had periodontal surgery, exposed roots, gum recession or those who have missing papilla. It offers excellent cleaning between the teeth.


• Disadvantage

The biggest disadvantage with this technique is that it does not remove bacteria from the gum line. This technique also requires a high level of dexterity.

 

Modified Stilman Brushing technique

 

• Method

The bristles of the toothbrush are placed at the gum line and rolled towards the crown of the teeth along with back and forth strokes. A soft bristle toothbrush is always recommended for this technique.


• Advantages

This technique not only removes accumulated plaque at the gum line but also massages the gums. It is advised in cases of gum recession and root exposure. Done correctly with light pressure, it ensures that the gums are not damaged by abrasion.


• Disadvantages

The Modified Stilman brushing technique requires a high level of dexterity and is quite time consuming. Overzealous brushing can damage the gum line further.

 

Fones Brushing Technique

 

• Method

The Fones Brushing technique is basically for children when they begin to learn teeth brushing. The child presses the bristles lightly on the teeth and moves the toothbrush in circular motions over all the teeth systematically for 4-5 times. It is also known as the circular/scrub method.


• Advantage

This is the simplest method and can be learnt easily. Therefore it is also advised for people who lack physical dexterity or are handicapped either physically or emotionally.  It is the quickest brushing method and does not take much time.


• Disadvantages

The use of excessive pressure while brushing can damage the gums. Additionally it does not clean the interdental areas properly.

 

Leonard brushing technique

 

• Method

It is also known as the vertical brushing technique. The bristles are placed parallel on the teeth at 90 degrees and are moved in an up and down vertical motion over the teeth. The upper and the lower teeth are brushed separately.


• Advantages

The Leonard brushing technique is simple to follow and is generally advised for children with deciduous teeth. It is also the preferred method for patients with overlapped teeth and also where wide embrasures exist between teeth.


• Disadvantages

It is generally not advised for adults as it does not clean interdental areas properly in permanent teeth.

 

Smith brushing technique

 

• Method

This technique is based on the presumption that the brush should follow the food path while chewing. Therefore the bristles are moved from the crown of the teeth towards the gum line. The toothbrush is moved upwards for the upper teeth and downwards for the lower teeth. It is also known as the Physiologic brushing technique.


• Advantages

The Smith brushing technique is considered to be the natural method for cleaning teeth. It offers excellent cleaning just above the gum line (supragingival area).


• Disadvantages

If one is not careful while brushing the bristles can damage the gum line as they hit the gingiva forcefully. Besides it does not clean the interdental space efficiently leaving scope for bacteria to develop.

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