Brushing technique: Bass and Modified Bass Methods

There are 5 commonly used brushing techniques: Bass or modified bass, Charters, Modified Stillman, Rolling stroke and Modified stroke. While the rolling technique is commonly used by the children, Bass or modified bass is the commonest technique for the adults. 

  1. Hold the toothbrush sideways against your teeth with some of the bristles touching your gums.
  2. Tilt the brush so the bristles are at 45 degree angle and pointing at your gum line.
  3. Move the brush back and forth, using short strokes. The tips of the bristles should stay in one place, but the head of the brush should wiggle back and forth. You also can make tiny circles with the brush. This allows the bristles to slide gently under the gum. Do this for about 20 strokes or 20 circles. 
  4. Repeat for every tooth, on the insides and outsides.
  5. The toe bristles of the brush can be used to clean the lingual (tongue) surface of the anterior teeth.

Modified Bass:
  1. Follow all the steps of the Bass technique.
  2. After the vibratory motion has been completed in each area, sweep the bristles over the crown of the tooth, toward biting surface of the tooth.
Importance of these methods:
  1. Most effective in cleaning cervical 1/3 & beneath gingival margins
  2. Suitable for everyone – Periodontally healthy & periodontally disease
  3. Periodontal maintenance
  4. Cleanses sulcus (space between tooth and gums)


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