Tooth Brushing

We are all aware of the importance of tooth brushing but it is such a routine part of our daily lives we may not realise if our technique is ineffective.

First and foremost remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day but also pay attention to how you are actually using your toothbrush.

Choose the right brush

Choose a brush with a suitably sized head and don’t pick one with very hard bristles as these can damage tooth enamel – soft or medium are best.

Electric brushes clean teeth effectively and are also handy for those who might struggle with a standard toothbrush (for example if they have arm or shoulder problems, or they suffer from arthritis), however a manual toothbrush can do just as good a job providing you brush properly.

Take your time

Taking just a little extra time to brush will make all the difference – ideally you should spend a minimum of two minutes cleaning your teeth. A good tip is to divide your mouth into four sections (top, bottom/sides) and spend around 30 seconds on each of these areas.

Brush the right way

Angle your brush at around 45 degrees, moving up and down rather than side to side. Remember to brush the sides of your teeth as well as the top surfaces and there’s no need to brush too hard as this may damage your gums.

Other tooth friendly accessories

  • Dental floss or interdental brushes are great for cleaning in between teeth
  • Tongue scrapers and mouthwash freshen breath
  • Sensitive toothpaste can help with those little twinges

And when you can’t get to a toothbrush

There are various ways in which you can temporarily clean your teeth and freshen your mouth when you are out and about:

  • Chew sugar free gum to neutralise any acids
  • Rinse your mouth with water
  • Use a chewable toothbrush (from chemists or vending machines)

Keep your toothbrush clean

  • Never share a toothbrush with anyone else
  • Rinse your toothbrush well after use
  • Stand it upright in a holder to keep it clean and dry when not in use
    Replace your toothbrush regularly (around every 3 months)

Remember tiny teeth

Teach your little ones about the importance of brushing their teeth as early as possible so it becomes second nature to them. Encourage them to brush by themselves but bear in mind they will need assistance until around 10 years of age – this is especially important when the adult teeth come through.

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