Bathroom brushing is for getting food off your teeth, dry-brushing is for getting the plaque germs off your teeth. It is not possible to completely remove plaque brushing as usual in the bathroom. Plaque is what causes decay and gum disease, removing plaque from your teeth is the most important reason for brushing.
Dry-brushing doesn’t mean using a dry toothbrush, but rather it is a method of brushing without using toothpaste, not in the bathroom, by feel and not by time. Occasionally it is not possible for some people to feel the difference, and then disclosing tablets or solution are very helpful to SEE that the plaque is completely removed. (see the pictures above)
Who Should Do It
It is not done in the bathroom, it is to be done sometime during your day that you normally have a free hand – like watching the news, reading the paper, listening to music, even while drinking coffee. The key is to feel your teeth with your tongue, and when they are really smooth (like when you had your teeth cleaned), you are done brushing. If they are not smooth, then you’re not done brushing. It will take 10-20 minutes to get your teeth completely smooth.
Brushing is most effectively done side-to-side (the modified Bass method). It used to be taught to brush up and down, circular, rolling – but none of these is effective. It used to be taught that brushing side-to-side would damage the teeth and/or gums – it will not, but that is what was taught. The brush should be at a forty-five degree angle towards the gums – half on the gums, half on the tooth. To effectively clean behind your upper and lower front teeth, it is easier to use a pencil grip.
Special note: for those who use proxabrushes (also called interdental brushes), dry brushing with your proxabrush is an excellent routine to effectively clean those areas between teeth – be sure to use them from both the cheek and tongue sides.
Continue to use toothpaste in the bathroom. Toothpaste is effective in helping to prevent decay (fluoride), kill bacteria (baking soda), remove bacteria from teeth (peroxide), prevent the formation of tartar (tartar control).
The only reason professional cleaning is required is to remove what you do not completely clean yourself. If there is no plaque or tartar on your teeth, they do not require professional cleaning (checkup yes, cleaning no). Without plaque on your teeth, you cannot have cavities or gum disease. Tartar is hard old plaque, and tartar is what stains on teeth >> without plaque, there can be no tartar >> where there is no tartar, there is no stain >> dry-brushing removes plaque completely where your brush reaches.
Brushing is only part of the battle to keep teeth and gums healthy, cleaning between teeth is equally, if not more important.
- Not in the bathroom.
- By feel*, not by time – until your teeth are smooth.
- No toothpaste.
- Daily (removing the plaque completely prevents tartar from even forming).
* If not possible to feel teeth well use disclosing tablets or solution.