Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Tooth Brushing Technique

There are a multitude of tooth brushing techniques that have been developed, but no one method has been shown to be superior (Asadoorian, 2006). The technique that is described below is an example of a tooth brushing method that may be used:

Brushing outer and inner surfaces:
Place the toothbrush at the gum margin at an angel of 45°. Press the bristles against the teeth and gums softly. Move the toothbrush with small, vibratory to and from motions.



Brushing the front teeth:
For cleaning the inner surfaces of the front teeth, put the toothbrush in an upright position and place the bristles at the gum margin. Move the toothbrush in the directions from the gums to the tooth.

Illustrations and instructions (for the Bass or sulcular method of brushing) adapted from:
Published with permission.
Nancy Bauer, RN, Hon. BA, Hon. Bus. Admin., E.T.