Are you sure you know how to brush your teeth well?

Are you sure you know how to brush your teeth well?

Our body is a machinery that works as a system whose components are deeply connected to each other, according to this award-winning Spanish dentist, director of the clinic that bears his name and surname (

It points out that oral health is not only connected with that of other parts of the body, but also has a primary role in the state of general health, since The mouth is the gateway to many diseases, as well as the reflex or warning sign to diagnose some ailments early.”

From bad breath, cavities, enamel, gum and tongue problems, to heart diseases, diabetessome types of cancer and celiac disease and autoimmune, endocrinological and even mental ailments, including gastritis and muscle problemsare all disorders related to different degrees with oral health, Malgaon points out.

The dentist is often the first professional to detect in the patient the signs, not only of ailments derived primarily from the oral mucosa or teeth, but also the signs of systemic diseases (those that affect the entire body, instead of one single part or organ), as detailed by Malagon.

“We have to take care of our mouth, because it is better to prevent diseases than to cure them,” emphasizes this dentist.

One of the basic pillars of oral health, It consists of complying with the daily ritual of dental hygiene, within which it is essential and mandatory to “brush your teeth correctly.”, according to Malagon. Another key measure is “visiting our trusted dentist, at least once a year,” he remembers.

One of the basic pillars of oral health is to follow the daily ritual of brushing your teeth correctly. (Pablo Gutman)

Although brushing and washing teeth is part of the daily routine of the majority of society, it is not always done correctly, according to Malagon, emphasizing that “it is a simple task but it has its method, which must be learned and applied. good”.

This dentist describes the most frequent mistakes we make when brushing our teeth, which we should avoid:


You don’t have to spend “an eternity” brushing your teeth: two minutes is enough, but less is insufficient, according to Malagon.

He assures that many people, especially children “who need to get used to dental cleaning”, do not dedicate the necessary time to this practice and will surely end up paying the consequences of poor dental hygiene in the future.

“If we brush for a short time, not all food remains are removed nor the presence of the bacteria responsible for cavities is reduced. In addition, the risk of suffering from periodontitis increases and the gums become weak,” he warns.


“The exact amount of toothpaste to put on the brush is equivalent to the size of a pea; no more, no less,” recommends Dr. Ivan Malagon.

Explain that toothpaste includes solid components called abrasives, which help remove food debris, achieving effective cleaning.

The level of abrasiveness of these substances is measured with a scale called RDA, which is reported on the toothpaste packaging ( scale-rda).

If the paste has a high content of these substances (it is very abrasive), you must add the right amount, because using it in excess can weaken the tooth enamel, according to this specialist.

“You also don’t have to overdo it with brushing. It is enough to do it three times a day, once after each meal. This way we won’t damage our enamel,” she points out.


“Just as we brush our teeth, we must also gently brush our tongue and gums, which are the most forgotten in oral hygiene,” according to Malagon.

It is also important to brush the inside surfaces of the teeth, which we cannot see but which contain food remains, which implies the permanence of bacteria in that area, he adds.


The use of large brushes or very hard bristles (only recommended in certain cases) is counterproductive, because more than cleaning, you damage the teeth, according to Malagon, who recommends “Use small brushes that reach all the corners of the mouth and with soft bristles so that the enamel is not damaged.”

“The brush suffers wear, so it must be changed every 3 months or sooner if we notice that it is very worn,” he adds.


“The correct way to brush your teeth is with a dry brush before putting it in your mouth, since, if it gets wet, the toothpaste is diluted and the effects of brushing are less,” he points out.


It is necessary to wash the brush after using it, because otherwise the bacteria or food remains that we have removed from our mouth will still be present on the bristles the next time we use it to brush our teeth, according to Malagon.

It is also advisable to leave it uncovered, instead of storing it damp with its cap, because that humidity is a breeding ground for bacteria, as he explains.

Are you sure you know how to brush your teeth well?
It is important to instill in children to brush their teeth correctly daily from an early age. (Pablo Gutman)


To instill in children and adolescents the keys to good tooth brushing, Dr. Malagon recommends that parents talk to their children “person to person,” treating them as if they were adults, so that they understand from an early age the importance of properly brush your teeth and clean your mouth.

He points out that “normally, children, in order not to disappoint their elders, brush their teeth very well, doing it even better than adults, on many occasions.”

Malagon advises starting the brushing routine when the first tooth emerges, recommending that children up to 7-8 years old brush their teeth with the supervision of an adult.trying to make it a fun activity shared with the family.

He adds that it is important that children get used to using the recommended amount of toothpaste (the size of a pea) so as not to waste toothpaste and to make brushing more comfortable.

“If you smear all the bristles of the toothbrush with toothpaste, a lot of foam will be produced, which can be annoying for the child and lead to them not brushing for long enough,” he explains.

It also recommends parents take the child’s age into account when choosing toothpaste, based on the recommended amount of fluoride.

Until 2-3 years old, children should use toothpaste with 1,000 ppm (parts per million) of fluoride; 3 to 6 years old should use a paste with between 1,000 and 1,450 ppm fluoride; and those over 6 years of age will now be able to use products with 1,450 ppm of fluoride, as explained.

Malagon recommends choose a brush with a size that is not too large, so that it allows you to clean all the nooks and crannies of your mouth, and that has a medium hardness (so that brushing does not wear down the tooth) or a soft hardness, if the child is smaller, it is important to change it at least every three months.

The child should always brush their teeth after each meal, for 2 minutes, if they do not have orthodontics, placing the brush at a 45 degree angle with respect to the gums and making circular movements applying light pressure.

Rinsing afterwards, with water and without overusing antiseptic mouthwashes, promotes cleanliness, according to Malagon.

It is preferable for children under 7 years of age to spit out the rest of the toothpaste and not rinse, because rinsing would eliminate the protective layer of fluoride that strengthens tooth enamel, concludes this specialist.

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