How to Brush Your Teeth the Healthy Way
Prior to brushing with Boka, my husband’s toothbrushes always wound up looking like they’d been scrubbing boulders—flattened bristles splayed in every direction, bending to the will of a vigorous brusher. Once I started learning more about the dangers of brushing too strongly with hard bristles, I’ve been on a mission for both of us to adopt a gentler, softer style.
Step one was to ditch our hard plastic toothbrushes and switch to softer bristles. The first time I used a Boka brush, it was such a pleasant, luxurious experience, I can’t ever imagine switching back. My mom, who had a painful gum graft surgery when I was a kid, swears that if she’d been brushing with Boka this whole time, she never would have accidentally brushed her lower gums away.
Soft bristles in place, our ongoing step two is to adjust how we brush. When you see actors brushing their teeth in movies, or when you mime it yourself (okay, maybe you don’t mime brushing your teeth often, but go with me on this), it’s usually with a strong side to side sweeping action, with the bristles pointed directly at the front of the teeth.
But that strong side to side motion makes the bristles bounce of the teeth and wear away the gums, rather than clean out the small particles between the teeth and at the gum line. While brushing fast and aggressively might make you feel like you’re getting a good clean, you’re potentially harming your mouth.
The best way to brush manually is to place the brush on a section of your teeth, with the bristles angled toward the teeth and gums, and wiggle it around gently. This will let the bristles settle into the cracks between your teeth and at your gum line, and shimmy the particles out. Then move to the next section of your teeth and repeat. It should take about two minutes to cover your entire mouth.
This technique will help you clean out plaque and particles while not damaging your mouth. A win-win! It’ll also keep your toothbrush bristles standing upright and effective until it’s time to replace your brush after three months.
For an even deeper clean, I highly recommend oil pulling prior to brushing each morning, or on as many mornings as you can. I’ve become kind of a nut for it ever since trying it for Boka last fall.