How To Brush Your Teeth: Effective Brushing Techniques (Infographic)


We are all aware of the fact that our oral health affects our general health. Despite this, most people don’t follow basic dental hygiene tips. Brushing your teeth twice a day is the topmost requirement to maintain a healthy set of teeth. This can help you to avoid common toothache problems such as cavities, tooth decay and gum diseases. In the below infographic post, we’ll guide you on how to brush your teeth properly step-by-step with the right brushing techniques. This will help you to improve your dental health while keeping your teeth clean and strong.

How To Brush Your Teeth Infographic

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A] How to Brush Your Teeth Properly Step-by-step

  • Step 1: Outside of the Teeth: The correct way to brush teeth is to begin with the outer surfaces. Place your brush at a 45° angle while brushing the upper and lower teeth of the outside surface and gum line. Ensure that you don’t rush through the process. You can slow down the process by gently brushing each tooth so you won’t miss any spot. While brushing in circular movement, use short and wide strokes to get rid of trapped food particles.
  • Step 2: Inside of the Teeth: Cleaning the inside of your teeth is also vitally important to maintain good oral hygiene. Hold the brush at a 45° angle as you brush the inner surface. Here too, ensure that you gently brush the tooth as well as the gum line.
  • Step 3: Chewing Surfaces: The chewing surface refers to the back of your teeth. Hold the toothbrush flat while brushing your upper and lower back teeth. Maintain a steady, gentle pressure to remove the trapped food debris.
  • Step 4: Clean Your Tongue: To avoid bad breath, don’t forget to clean your tongue. This will help you to get rid of the odour-causing bacteria leaving you with a clean, fresh breath. Use a gentle, circular motion to clean your tongue, the roof of your mouth, and the insides of your cheeks.

Further reading: Importance of Visiting the Dentist Every 6 Months

B] Effective Brushing Techniques

  • Use the Right Toothbrush: Choosing the right size toothbrush for your mouth will help you to thoroughly clean your teeth and remove plaque from hard-to-reach places. There are generally two types of toothbrushes available in the market: a hard-bristled toothbrush and a soft-bristled toothbrush. For gentle brushing and greater comfort, opt for a soft, rounded toothbrush with multi-level bristles. This is the safest choice compared to a hard-bristled toothbrush which can damage your root surface, gums, and tooth enamel.
  • Hold the Toothbrush Properly: The best way to brush your teeth is to hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle. This is an ideal angle for brushing teeth as it ensures that the bristles are pointed to where the teeth and gums meet.
  • Use Toothpaste With Fluoride: For cleaning teeth and keeping your mouth minty fresh, opt for toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent cavities and removes plaque-causing bacteria efficiently. It can also prevent the early stages of tooth decay and strengthen the enamel around your teeth.
  • Use Gentle, Circular Motions: To avoid injuring your gums, make sure to use gentle, circular motions while brushing your teeth. To clean your entire mouth thoroughly, focus on one small group of teeth at a time. Start with the outer surface then move inside, follow this by brushing the chewing surfaces, and finally clean your tongue.
  • Bass or Sulcular Technique: One of the best brushing techniques, the Bass or Sulcular technique includes holding the toothbrush at a 45° angle and using circular motions, gently moving the bristles under the gumline. With this technique, you can scrub off the plaque underneath the gums, thereby preventing the formation of tartar that leads to gum diseases. Next, place the toothbrush in a vertical position to brush the outer surface of the teeth. Make use of the bristles on the toe side of the brush to remove food particles lodged in between the teeth.
  • Stillman Method: In the Stillman method, the focus is on cleaning the chewing surfaces to eliminate cavity-causing bacteria. Use short circular strokes to clean this area. Also, tilt the brush to clean the underside of the gum line. Here, use half of the bristles to clean the tooth surface and the other half to clean the gums.
  • Charter Technique: This brushing technique is ideal for people with exposed root, gum recession, and those who have spaces between their teeth. Hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle and place the bristles on the gum line while pointing them towards the chewing surface. Now, use gentle, circular motions to vibrate the brush for at least 15 to 20 counts. Repeat the same on the next area, brushing all tooth surfaces (inner & outer), plus the chewing surfaces of the molars. This technique is the opposite of the Bass and Stillman method and also recommended for patients with adult braces and/or fixed, partial dentures.

C] Common Brushing Mistakes to Avoid

  • Scrubbing the Teeth Too Hard: This is one of the biggest brushing mistakes that you need to avoid. Most people have this misconception that scrubbing the teeth hard can remove all the plaque stuck between the teeth. This is far from true! In fact, brushing too hard can wear down your enamel and cause damage to the gum tissue.
  • Rushing through the routine: It is recommended to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes at each time (in the morning and before going to sleep). This will help to effectively remove the build-up of plaque. Also, to ensure you or your kids are brushing for full 2 minutes, you can either play a song that has a 2-3 minute range or set a timer on your phone.
  • Not changing the toothbrush often: This is another mistake that we often make, which could cause dental problems and affect our physical health too. You know it’s time to change the toothbrush when the bristles bend or become discoloured. It is recommended to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Also, to keep bacteria and mold from growing on it, it is advised to keep the toothbrush in the open air when wet. More importantly, change your toothbrush after you have been sick as cold germs/bacteria can live on the toothbrush for days (or even weeks sometimes).

Further reading: Ways Your Dental Health Affects You

  • Going back and forth: The correct way to brush your teeth is to go up and down in circular motions rather than going right to left (back and forth). Constant back and forth movement can damage the enamel of your teeth. Thus, for effective cleaning of teeth, make gentle, circular motions and avoid side-to-side movement.
  • Ignoring the Gum Line: The key to optimal oral hygiene is to thoroughly clean your entire mouth. This includes the gum line, tongue, chewing surfaces, roof of the mouth as well as inside cheeks. You can use the Bass technique to clean your gum line. Also, clean your tongue regularly to avoid bad breath.
  • Not Using Dental Floss: The thumb rule is to brush twice a day and floss at least once. Flossing helps to remove plaque from between the spaces of your teeth that is hard for the toothbrush to reach, thereby preventing bacterial growth. You need to gently manoeuvre the floss between the teeth until it meets the gum line. Here, hold the floss firmly against the tooth and rub along the surface with a gentle up and down movement. Repeat this process for all the remaining teeth.
  • Brushing Soon After a Meal: It is recommended to wait for at least 60 minutes after a meal to brush your teeth. Brushing right after your meal can damage the tooth enamel and lead to erosion, especially if you’ve had acidic foods like lemon or soda. Thus, wait for at least 60 minutes so your saliva can neutralise any acid. Also, rinse your mouth before brushing to get rid of any leftover acid.

Further reading: Preventive Dentistry For Adults And Children

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long and how often should I brush my teeth?

Adults and kids should brush for full two minutes, twice a day to prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities.

  • What type of toothbrush should I use?

A soft-bristled toothbrush is an ideal type to brush your teeth with as it is gentle on your teeth and doesn’t cause any harm to the tooth enamel and gum line. However, ensure to use only gentle, circular motions as scrubbing too hard even with a soft-bristled toothbrush can cause dental damage.

  • What toothpaste should I use?

Toothpaste with fluoride is one of the most common types of toothpaste used. It is also the safest for adults as well as kids. For yellowed teeth, there is over-the-counter whitening toothpaste available. However, it is best to consult with your dentist before you opt for it. Likewise, there are other types of toothpaste available that are specially for people who have sensitive teeth. Some toothpaste comes with special cavity-fighting power while others can help fight tartar more effectively. But, no matter which you choose, it is best to talk to your dentist before you use it.

  • Can I over brush my teeth?

Brushing your teeth too often can cause more harm than good. Over-brushing can damage the tooth enamel and the gum line. Thus, it is best to avoid it and stick to the regular twice a day routine.

  • How often should I replace my toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months to enjoy optimal dental and physical health.

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10/7 Nicklin Way

Minyama QLD 4575, Australia

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Book Appointment

(07) 5444 4308 & 1300 70 60 90

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Adarsh (Principal Dentist)


Adarsh (A-Dash) is the principal dentist at Oris Dental. Adarsh graduated as a dentist in 1996 from the University of Mumbai (Bombay, India). He entered private practice as an assistant dentist in one of the leading practices in Mumbai from 1996-2002. The practice offered all aspects of dentistry with the exception of Orthodontics. This prompted Adarsh to pursue a post graduate degree in Orthodontics and successfully completed the 3 year Full time the master’s program from University of Mumbai (Bombay, India) in 2005. Since then, Adarsh has been in private practice both as a general dentist and an orthodontist. He also served as teaching faculty at University in Mumbai for 3 yrs and when in India, he has been ‘the dentist’ to many dentists!! In 2008, Adarsh took the Australian Dental Council exam for direct recognition of his skill in Australia. He successfully completed the exams in the first attempt and moved to Australia early 2009. He has been in private practice in Australia since Jan 2009. Oris Dental was set up in Minyama in 2011. Oris Dental is now over 8 years old and is growing to be a well-respected practice in the area. He is particularly interested in Cosmetic dentistry Dental implants and Orthodontics. Adarsh hopes to use all the experience he has gained in the past 22 years, to offer the best in dentistry to all his patients in this practice. Adarsh believes in spreading smiles and has successfully designed smiles and in doing so improved the lives and self-confidence of many Sunshine Coast locals (Take a look at our Smile gallery!). Adarsh is an active member of the Australian Dental Association since 2009 He held the post of Senior Lecturer in Orthodontics in Mumbai University before moving to Australia. He is a Life member of the Indian Dental Association, serving as the General Secretary of the Association (Mumbai City Chapter) 2007-2009 He is Life member of the Indian Orthodontic Society. He is Candidate for Membership Examination MRACDS (Ortho) and plans to complete his membership exams soon. Adarsh is also currently pursuing his Diploma in Implant dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons(Edinburgh). Adarsh has recently complete intensive training in implant placement and restoration in Neoss and TRI (Swiss) Implant system. He is married to Prachi for 15yrs and they have a 11 yr old son – Aarjav, a little daughter Aria who has just started prep and Daisy the mad Lab pup! He is currently learning to play Tennis and Badminton and loves watching the cricket!

Prachi (Owner/ Dentist)


Prachi is the director, part time dentist at Oris Dental. Prachi graduated in 2002 from Nair hospital dental college, Mumbai (Bombay, India), one of the leading dental schools in Asia. She then worked in multiple private practices across Mumbai (Bombay, India). While working as a dentist in various practices she picked up the positives from them and implemented them into this practice at Oris Dental. She is very friendly by nature and is particularly good at handling children, preventive dentistry and hygiene. Prachi moved to Australia in 2009. Prachi has there on completed her Australian Dental council exams successfully in early 2011 and is now ready to bring in her 12 years of experience to Oris Dental. Prachi also serves as a part time dentist at the Oral Health Services Sunshine Coast in Caloundra Kawana and Nambour as needed.

Davina (Dentist)


Davina has been a part of our family since 2014. After completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Queensland, Davina has been in private practice in an around the Sunshine coast for a year before joining us full time. Davina shows exemplary skills in building a great relationship and rapport with her patients and is well regarded by her peers. Davina is very highly regarded by her current patients. Davina currently works 3 days a week.

Lise Slack (Dental Hygienist)

Lise Stack

Our dental hygienist Lise Slack is a trained member of the dental team who works together with your dentist in preventing gum diseases and dental decay.

Lise joined OrisDental in 2015 and has worked extensively in private specialist practices. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 1982 and has had specific training and exposure to an extensive range of periodontal conditions and treatment modalities.

Lise’s dad was a professor in dentistry and this is where her love of teeth comes from. She has invented two specialist oral care products which are available in Australia and several international countries. Lise has also lectured at international dental conferences on the maintenance of dental implants and how to help patients care for their teeth once they have contracted periodontitis.

Both adults and children can benefit from having an appointment with a dental hygienist as they are taught how dental diseases occur and how it can be prevented or managed.

Lise is married to Sam and they have two daughters. They value their family time and love adventurous outdoor sports.

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jess has been a part of Oris Dental from the outset in 2011. Always cheerful and welcoming Jess is the star amongst our patients at our practice. If you cannot find Jess in the practice she will be at the beach!


Kaela (Receptionist)

Debra (Receptionist)

Kaela arrived at our practice in early 2021. Coming from eight years of retail experience in Northern NSW, she loves working with people and assisting in any way she can. Kaela has also just finished her training as a dental assistant. You will immediately fall in love with her happy, bubbly personality.

Abby (Sr. Dental Assistant)

Abby (Dental Assistant)

Abby is originally from Hervey Bay, but she has been calling the Sunshine Coast home with her husband and two kids for the past four and a half years. Abby completed her cert III in dental assisting in 2015 and is looking to further her studies In the near future. Abby enjoys camping, playing guitar, and travelling
the world with her family.

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    Dr. Param Dass

    Dr. Param Dass

    Param Dass graduated with a Bachelor in Dentistry from the University of Otago, NZ in 2005. He went on to complete his Bachelor in Medicine from the University of Auckland NZ in 2010.

    Param started working part time in our practice since 2015 with special interest in surgical procedures including Dental implants and bone grafting procedures, Surgical extractions including Wisdom teeth and other minor surgical procedures.

    Param is well known for being gentle and caring in treating patients with dental anxiety and maintains a calm demeanour.

    He is also well trained in working with patients with various levels of anxiety, offering dental treatment under Happy Gas, Twilight sedation or under Full general anaesthetic.

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Brayden hails from North Queensland, having completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at JCU Cairns, practicing in Hobart and outreach dentistry from Mount Isa over the course of his studies. He has worked with us since 2020. Brayden enjoys becoming a part of a community and enjoys the outdoors and sport in his spare
    time. Having only recently moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Brayden is enthusiastic and well versed in all aspects of basic general dentistry and looks forward to bringing North Queensland hospitality to the South East.



    Briar stated off as a trainee dental assistant in our practice mid-2020. She is the youngest member of our practice and is rapidly becoming an integral part of team Oris. Briar completed her Certificate 3 in our practice in 2021 and works full time Dental assistant at Oris Dental.



    Drew is Oris Dental’ newest member, who has only recently moved from his hometown of Rockhampton. He is our Oral Health Therapist, who specializes in oral health education, general check-ups, fillings and more!
    He loves a good chat and a laugh at work. He prioritizes patient’s comfort and likes to encourage an environment where everyone feels a sense of security and safety in the dental setting. When Drew isn’t at work you’ll find him having a refreshing swim at the beach or having his usual dirty chai at his local cafe.



    Jasmine joined our practice in November 2021 and works with our Oral Health Therapist Drew. Jasmine is new to dental assistance, however is quickly taking on any and all challenges that come her way! She loves animals, and spending quality time with her husband and two kids. Welcome to the team!



    Brooke is originally from Brisbane but has been living on the coast since 2017. She brings over 15 years of experience in the dental industry and has had the opportunity to work in London and Melbourne for the Royal Flying Doctors. Brooke enjoys surfing, scuba diving and exploring the many things that the Sunny Coast has to offer.