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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Brushing Like You Really Mean It

Oct 27, 2014 06:05PM ● By Dr. Andie Pearson, DDS

Brushing our teeth is something that we have been told to do ever since we have had teeth. But the chances are that we were never told exactly how to brush, for how long and most importantly, what we are accomplishing by doing it.

Just like the daily, automated, mindless drive to a familiar destination, people tend to cruise through the entire brushing ceremony. Many people spend that time thinking about errands or chores.

The process should be broken down into three zones: the gum tissue, the area where the gums meet the teeth and the teeth. Using small, soft, circular motions, start on the gum tissue. This allows us to determine how much pressure is being used, so that we don’t over-brush the gums or teeth and cause wear or breakdown.

It also helps to firm up the gums and create better circulation. The next zone is the area where the tooth and gum meet. Use the same circular motion, maintaining the same pressure, and then move to the last zone, the tooth. For the inside, or tongue side, of the teeth, you would just brush the last two zones. The entire process should take between five and seven minutes. Make sure to always use a super soft toothbrush, concentrate on the task of each brushstroke and its goal, and don’t forget to brush the tongue.

Gumology, a funny, entertaining and very informative video about brushing, can be found online at

Gaiamed Dental, in Wilmette, is a full-service holistic dental practice using the most biocompatible dental options. For more information, call Dr. Andie Pearson, DDS, at 847-977-1655 or visit