How well do you look after your teeth?
We all know that we need to brush our teeth and clean in between our teeth but how well do we brush? What about: How long for? The most effective techniques? And these other tips to help your daily oral hygiene regime…
To remove plaque which helps to prevent decay and gum disease and keep the mouth healthy we should be:
- Brushing our teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time with Fluoride toothpaste. Spit the toothpaste out don’t rinse the toothpaste away with water. This is so that we are not getting rid of the good effects of the toothpaste such as helping to prevent decay.
- Children need help or supervision with their brushing until they are at least 7 years old.
- Our Fluoride toothpaste should contain no less than 1,000ppm for children up to 3 years old and 1,350-1,500ppm for anyone over 3 years old. You can find this information on the back of the toothpaste tube where the ingredients are listed.
- Cleaning in between your teeth once a day with interdental aids such as floss, flossettes, easy picks or interdental brushes. You may need a couple of different interdental aids or sizes of interdental brushes to fit the spaces between our teeth which can vary.
- When brushing our teeth angle the bristles of the toothbrush at 45 degrees towards the gum line. Brush in a small circular motion and ensuring a scrubbing action is not used if using a manual toothbrush. If using an electric toothbrush, angle the bristles of the toothbrush at 45 degrees towards the gum line, ensuring a scrubbing action is not used. We need to get the bristles of our toothbrush where the gum and tooth meet so that the plaque is removed properly. This stops the plaque from irritating the gums which causes them to be inflamed. We also need to make sure that we do not scrub with our toothbrush so that we do not wear away our gums over time. This can cause sensitivity.
- Make sure that we leave at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour after eating or drinking before brushing our teeth. This is when the outer layer of our teeth is softest and can be worn away if being brushed soon after eating and drinking.
- If you would like to use a mouthwash, try to use this at a different time to brushing your teeth and use one that has Fluoride and is alcohol-free. A mouthwash is useful to help make your mouth feel fresh and get an extra fluoride dose to help prevent decay. But it does not replace brushing the teeth and cleaning in between the teeth to remove plaque.
- It is also important for the consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar to be infrequent and to be in small amounts. Examples of these types of foods and drinks include: squash, flavoured water, fizzy drinks, chocolate, cake, biscuits, cereals, jams, fruit & fruit juices.
Kayley, Dental Hygienist at Beechwood Dental.
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