What Are Five Major Methods of Brushing the Teeth?

Different brushing methods suit different people.
Different brushing methods suit different people. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Although tooth brushing may seem like something which doesn’t require extra thought, there’s actually a range of different approaches and techniques related to effectively cleaning your teeth. These different methods have various advantages and disadvantages and often are specifically implemented by people who have special dental requirements. However, it’s still useful to be aware of different brushing techniques in order to maximize your physical comfort and oral hygiene.

Bass Method

This technique of tooth brushing is one of the most common and is often recommended for the majority of patients. In this method, the brush cleans the teeth at a 45 degree angle by being rubbed in small circles along the lower part of the teeth (technically referred to as the gingival sulcus), in order to maximize the amount of plaque removed and ensure that the bristles of the brush clean most effectively.

Fone's Method

This method is similar to the bass method, except the mouth remains closed for the technique’s initial duration. The brush is applied in large circular motions against the teeth, moving back and forward until all surfaces have been adequately cleaned. This style of brushing is typically suggested for younger children or people who have difficulty moving their wrists.

Rolling Stroke Method

The Rolling Stroke method involves the toothbrush being pointed downwards towards the gums and brushed on top of the tooth. The toothbrush then is gently swivelled over the teeth, moving back and forward until all tooth surfaces are treated.

Charter’s Method

This method involves first completing the rolling stroke method. Then, direct the toothbrush to a 45 degree angle and apply small circular strokes to the lower area of the teeth (where they emerge from the gums). After this, the toothbrush is positioned vertically against the teeth and gently brushed up and down to remove any remaining plaque.

Modified Stillman's Method

This method is similar to the rolling stroke method, except the brush is continually vibrated in a lateral gesture.

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