The short answer is yes, there is. The long answer would add that a wrong way to brush your teeth does not only exist, it is widely spread around society. It is likely used more than the right way, which also means there’s a big chance you are brushing your teeth in an incorrect manner too.
The way most people do it is by placing the brush over their teeth, with various degrees of inclination, and start moving it backwards and forward. You make sure you reach all the teeth and keep at it for a minute or two until you feel them all clean and fresh. If you are in a hurry or just want to end quickly, you just brush harder and faster.
Well, that happens to be the wrong way.
Why is it wrong? For starters, it doesn’t clean very effectively. While the goal of tooth-brushing should be to reach all possible spaces, this sawing movement makes the bristles of the brush bounce from tooth to tooth without going over the spaces in between. Thus, plaque and food particles remain in these spaces and cavities keep developing.
But it can also be damaging in itself. By brushing this way you are scrubbing off your tooth enamel, which is the thin outer layer that covers your teeth. Even if tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body (harder than bone) it can get eroded from the acids, sugar and starches from our daily diet.
In the same way, enamel gets eroded by abrasion, which means physical wear and tear of the surface of your tooth that happens when you brush improperly and too hard. This can also happen from biting constantly into hard objects, like pens or even your nails.
The consequences for this carelessness would go along the lines of sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures, discoloration, cracked edges and precocious aging of your teeth.
So what is the right way?
It is very easy, although it does require a bit more patience. You start by placing your toothbrush over your teeth and wiggling softly back and forth. You don’t need to put a lot of pressure either, which may make it feel like you aren’t cleaning at all, but what you are doing is cleaning without wiping away your tooth enamel. The bristles on the toothbrush will naturally fall in the spaces between each tooth (as they are designed to do) and thus remove every residue.
So you gently brush a set of teeth, jiggling back and forth in short,tooth-wide strokes. You can start with the outer surfaces, then the inner surfaces, then the chewing surfaces. Finally, bush your tongue as well to remove any bacteria and freshen your breath.
It may take time until you get used to this new technique, and sadly it takes a bit more until the results really show. This will be by lack of problems in your next dentist appointment and the blessing of keeping your own teeth until an old age.
Dental care isn’t only brushing
For the sake of completeness, let’s remember that flossing should also be an important part of your dental routine. There will always be some bacteria between your teeth that a toothbrush just won’t be able to reach, and flossing is the only way to get rid of plaque and food particles from under the gum line.
A mouthwash to finish is not a bad idea. Also, keep regular visits to your dentist for professional cleanings and cavity check-ups.