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Dental Hygiene

Tooth brushing technique



Hello, I was just wondering what is the best way to brush. Electric or manual? And when doing it manually, which technique is most effective and is there any good evidence to support if that technique is better than others. Thanks!


There is a lot of evidence out there supporting both methods as effective.  If you brush manually, you should use what is called the modified bass technique which is angling the bristles 45 degrees at the gumline so the bristles are actually getting under the gum somewhat.  You then gently vibrate the brush back and forth covering 2-3 teeth at a time.  When using an electric toothbrush you still angle the bristles 45 degrees but let the vibrating action of the bristles do the work.

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Response by:

Michele P Carr, RDH,  MA Michele P Carr, RDH, MA
Associate Professor of Dental Hygiene
Associate Professor of HS Nursing Quality & Research
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University