The Rolling Method of Brushing Teeth

Written by shaunta alburger
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The Rolling Method of Brushing Teeth
The rolling stroke method of tooth brushing is good for your gums. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Proper tooth brushing leads to a healthy mouth, can reduce the instance of decay and even heart problems. The rolling stroke method of tooth brushing, while no longer the most common type of brushing taught, still has its uses. It massages the gums in a way that other methods don't. It also requires less manual dexterity than other more common methods.

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Rolling Stroke Method

The rolling stroke method for tooth brushing requires proper technique to be successful. The toothbrush bristles are held at a 45 degree angle against your teeth at the gum line and small downward circles are made so that the brush comes down the front of the tooth and across the biting surface. To practice the motion required hold your arm in front of you perpendicular to the ground. Rotate your arm in a circle. Reduce the size of the circles until just your wrist is moving and bring your hand to your mouth.

Benefits of Rolling Stroke Method

One benefit of the rolling stroke method is that it's easy to teach to children. The motion also requires less pressure and strength than other tooth brushing techniques, so small children will better be able to brush their own teeth using it. The ease of motion may make it a good choice for those with motor skill issues. While more modern techniques are more frequently taught and used now, the rolling stroke method is still employed by many people.

Problems with Rolling Stroke Method

The main problem with the rolling stroke method is that it doesn't get under the gums as well as other methods. Since you start at the gum and brush downward, the bristles don't do as much as good as they could. The rolling stroke method also only works on the fronts of teeth and is difficult to perform on back teeth. A second method is required for reaching those parts of teeth that rolling stroke doesn't.

Other Options

The most common modern method of tooth brushing taught is the bass method. Like the rolling stroke method, the brush is held at a 45-degree angle in the bass method, only the brush is brought across the teeth from side to side. This allows the bristles to get under the gums and between teeth, and can be used behind teeth as well. Charter's method of tooth brushing is used for those with gum problems and prosthetic teeth. The rolling stroke method is used first, and then the teeth are brushed again using a circular motion.

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