A complete step-by-step guide to brushing your teeth.

If you’re committed to brushing like a pro and keeping your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime, it might help to consider why you brush your teeth.

You might remember that digestion begins in the mouth, so it’s no surprise that a mouth is a tough place for teeth to live. Teeth are under constant assault from digestive enzymes and bacteria that form a sticky film on your teeth, called plaque. Brushing your teeth properly is key to removing plaque as it builds up. Remember: having clean teeth is an ongoing journey, not a destination. It’s important to be consistent with your at home teeth cleaning routine. Below are some basic steps to follow when brushing your teeth, however it’s recommended to ask your dental hygienist for a customized plan for proper oral hygiene that is unique to you and your dental needs.

Steps For Brushing Your Teeth Properly:

You probably already brush your teeth—but are you an expert brusher? Test your knowledge or perfect your technique with this guide to proper tooth brushing.

  1. 01

    Aim Your Toothbrush

    Aim Your Toothbrush

    After applying toothpaste to your toothbrush, point your bristles at a 45° angle to your gumline. Why? The angle helps bristles gently reach and clean areas of your teeth usually covered by your gums. A flatter angle won’t reach as far down your teeth, and a steeper angle means your bristles will poke and irritate your gums unnecessarily.

  2. 02

    Gently Scrub Your Teeth

    Gently Scrub Your Teeth

    There are many different methods for brushing your teeth. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist for which brushing method is best for you. You should also ask which type of toothbrush, manual or electric, is best for your needs.

  3. 03

    Keep Brushing for Two Minutes

    Keep Brushing for Two Minutes

    When it comes to brushing your teeth, two minutes is the magic number, but it's not always about how long you brush, but how well you brush. And if you brush willy-nilly, you might miss a spot. Break those two minutes into 30-second blocks and focus on one of the four corners of your mouth: top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right. Don't forget the inside, outside, and tops of your teeth. Need inspiration or a timer? Play your favorite two-minute jam and don’t stop cleaning your teeth until it ends.

  4. 04

    Be Sure to Brush Your Tongue

    Be Sure to Brush Your Tongue

    Yes, brush your tongue. It may feel funny, but brushing your tongue is an important step to get rid of plaque, as it helps to remove bacteria in your mouth. Plus, it will help keep your breath fresh and clean. Learn more about how to get fresh breath here.


Other Advice for Cleaning Your Teeth At Home

Brushing is just the beginning.

Clean between your teeth once per day to properly clean where toothbrush bristles can’t reach.

Going soft is a good thing.

Be gentle. It is recommended to use a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Watch what you eat.

Sugary and acidic beverages and snacks are harmful to teeth. You can help protect your teeth by avoiding foods that can harm your tooth enamel.

Nothing replaces a dentist.

Visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings.

Incorporate rinsing as part of your routine.

Adding mouthwash to your at-home teeth cleaning routine can help you reduce plaque and gingivitis-causing bacteria by reaching the places that brushing might miss.

Discover our products, and find which LISTERINE® Mouthwash is right for you.