Modified Stillman Tooth Brushing Technique

By Anna Roberts

Regular brushing of the teeth is the most important part of a dental health regimen. Generally speaking, teeth should be brushed at least two times per day, preferably after meals. It is also recommended by some dentists and hygienists to develop a pattern for brushing and do it the same way every time, so that no area is forgotten and skipped. Aside from these general guidelines, there are four different techniques for brushing, including the modified Stillman tooth brushing technique.

What it Is

The modified Stillman is a tooth-brushing technique that incorporates specific strokes to achieve specific goals in cleaning the teeth. It is designed to give the teeth an overall thorough cleaning and remove plaque in addition to stimulating the gums, known as gingival tissue.

Who Should Use It

It's a good idea to use the tooth-brushing method recommended by your dentist. The modified Stillman method is often used in patients with progressing gingival recession. This means that the patient's gums are receding toward the base of the tooth, leading to root exposure. This method is used to avoid damage to the delicate tissue, which would further exacerbate the condition.

How to Perform

To perform the modified Stillman, position the bristles of your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums. This means you will hold the brush at the gum line and point the bristles toward the tooth's root. This is referred to as an "apical" position in dentistry. The handle of the toothbrush should be held parallel to the biting edge of the teeth. Now use a vibrate and roll motion to clean the surface of the tooth. Vibrate the bristles gently against the gum line and and then pull the brush to the biting edge. Repeat the stroke 5 times for each area. Use a light pressure with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

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