The most important point to remember when you brush is, like any other job, pay attention to what you do. For many people brushing is a habit, so they do not think of it when they brush. Some others, brush even twice a day and for two minutes each time but they do not do it properly. Maybe one reason is they have not enough information about teeth, gum and how to brush efficiently.
There are a couple of methods for brushing but two of them are more common. First one is for every adult with pretty healthy gum. In this method you should position the brush bristles at the gum line (where tooth and gum meet) with 45 degree angle toward the gum. The reason is there is a natural tiny gap between the tooth and the gum that is called gingival sulcus and usually is 2-3 mm deep. This is a good place for bacteria to accumulate and form bacterial plaque. Bacterial plaque can easily damage the gum and cause inflammation and irritation of the gum as it stimulate the immune system of body in that area. So, by pushing the bristles gently under the gum in to the gingival sulcus we try to clean that area and prevent any further damage to the gum. After positioning the brush, you should clean the teeth by a circular motion covering the teeth, part of the gum and gingival sulcus by bristles.
You start this from one side up or down and try to clean the teeth in groups of three. Considering the whole time of brushing is 2 min, you have 30 second for each quadrant. That is 15 seconds for outside and 15 second for inside. Assuming normally we have 7 or 8 teeth present in each quadrant and brushing them in groups of three you should brush each group for 5 seconds. Of course nothing happens if you brush longer. After finishing the outside of your teeth you need to do the same for the inside of the teeth, quadrant by quadrant. It is not a good technique to brush in a long back and forth motion as it can damage the gum and wears off the teeth. The only place that you are permitted to brush like that is the chewing surface of the teeth.
The second method is more useful if some gum disease exist, like gingivitis or periodontitis. The reason is in this method we concentrate on cleaning the gingival sulcus more than the first method. Basically this is the same as first method by positioning the brush and bristles and also time wise.The difference is instead of a general circular motion , this time we push the bristles under the gum very gently enough to see the margin of the gum is getting a bit white and then we do a very short back and forth motion, more like a vibration, for 10 to 15 times and then we rotate the brush toward the chewing surface of the tooth or away from the gum. By doing this we remove plaque and bacteria from the gingival sulcus.This is going to be repeated for every 2-3 adjacent teeth for couple of times before moving to next group of teeth.
Always pay attention to what you do. Make sure you put the brush in the correct way and correct position.A good brushing with the proper technique is enough to keep the teeth clean for 24 hours.
Always use a soft or medium brush and brush gently.
If you have some sensitive teeth, use a sensitive toothpaste instead of normal toothpaste, avoid acidic foods and drinks and do not use normal or whitening toothpaste.
Make sure you brush all the way back on you back teeth and do not miss any spot. If you feel you can not get back enough and easy due to brush size, get a brush smaller head.
Always floss first or use interdental brushes then brush and then rinse with mouth wash.
If you want to use electric toothbrush still you can do the same techniques by the difference that brush will do the vibration for you in the second technique.
Remember flossing is more important than brushing.
Never brush just after drinking or eating acidic foods. Wait at least one hour. Acidic foods soften the enamel and you will brush it away, if you brush after drinking for example sodt drinks. Waiting one hour after drinking soft drink, gives time to enamel to recalcifies and get hard again.
Brush back of your tongue as well to remove the bacteria and bad smell.