Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge CenterHow to Brush Your Teeth Step by Step

7 Steps to Brushing Your Teeth

Keep a clean mouth and a healthy smile with the proper tooth brushing technique.

Why you should brush your teeth?

Brushing your teeth removes bits of food and plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless mix of bacteria and sugars. It sticks to our teeth in a thin layer, and if it isn't removed, the bacteria can cause cavities and gum disease. Plaque left on the teeth hardens into tartar, also called calculus, in as little as 48 hours. Tartar can cause gum disease, and sometimes even tooth loss. Soon after plaque turns into tartar, you won't be able to remove it with your toothbrush—only your hygienist or dentist can remove it.

What kind of toothbrush should you use?

Keeping your smile healthy starts with your toothbrush. Choose a brush with soft bristles that's comfortable to hold. Soft bristles are gentler on your teeth and gums. Look for a toothbrush with a shape that can reach all parts of your mouth.

7 Steps for Brushing Success

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Let the bristles do the work instead of squashing the brush against your teeth, move slowly and gently across the surface of every tooth.

  1. Angle the bristles next to the outer surface of your teeth toward the gum line.
  2. Gently move the brush in a circular motion.
  3. Gently scrub all the outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth, making sure to reach the back teeth.
  4. Using the same circular motion, brush the inside surfaces of all your teeth.
  5. Scrub the chewing surfaces, especially the grooves that may collect food particles in your back teeth.
  6. Use the tip of the toothbrush in a circular motion to clean the front teeth.
  7. Finally, gently brush the roof of your mouth, the insides of your cheeks, and your tongue. This makes your entire mouth feel clean and may also freshen your breath.

What are other ways to clean your teeth and keep your mouth healthy?

  • Floss every day to remove plaque from between your teeth and under your gum line, where your toothbrush may not reach. That’s where gum disease often begins.
  • Make sure you’re up to date with your dental cleanings and exams. Call your dentist today to make an appointment.

Tags

Gum Health

Related

Prevent Gum Disease Overcoming Dental Anxiety Stress and Your Oral Health

Back to Knowledge Center

This information is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult with your dentist for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing and care recommendations.

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details