Brush for 2 Minutes
Brush for two minutes with a Fluoride containing toothpaste.
We recommend that you use an electric toothbrush for your cleaning. Choose one from one of the main brands – Braun Oral B, Phillips Sonicare or Colgate. These brushes all have timers built into them to help you know how long you are brushing for. Brushing your teeth does not need to be a race, take your time to make sure you cover all the tooth surfaces plus where the gums and teeth meet. Do not be afraid to brush your gums. You CANNOT cause any damage to them, brushing your gums too hard is a MYTH that is quite widespread and still perpetuated by many Dentists and other Dental Professionals.
If you still want to use a handheld brush, then make sure you have some form of timer to hand. Research shows that most people only brush between 25 – 55 seconds; this is not long enough to clean your teeth well enough. Get a brush with a small, narrow head about 1cm long and 8mm wide. You may have to look in the children’s section in the shop to find one. Don’t worry about the length of the handle.
Finally after brushing the teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue and roof of your mouth as well. Bacteria hide there too!
Use a Fluoride Mouthwash
Mouthwash is an important but misunderstood part of your oral care. Don’t believe the hype and think that it will get rid of all dental bacteria. It does remove some, but not at a significant level that matters in reality. Mouthwash is the best way of removing larger parts of food debris and a way of getting Fluoride onto the tooth and root surface. Where ever possible choose an alcohol free one.
Fluoride has two main effects: it interrupts the breeding cycle of the dental bacteria and hardens the chemical make up of the tooth surface. It is a good way of protecting the joins between any dental treatment such as fillings and crowns and the tooth surface.
After rinsing your mouth with mouthwash avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes to get the maximum protection of your teeth. It will also keep your breath fresher for longer as well!
Use Interdental Brushes & Floss for 2 Minutes
Your toothbrush can clean about 90 – 95% of the tooth surface, but are not very good for brushing the areas where the teeth meet together. This is one of the main areas where decay can start, so are an important area to keep clean. Recently new brushes have been developed to allow you to clean these areas really well. The main brand we like is the Swedish brand Tepe. They are long lasting, with the best range of brush sizes to chose from.
It is important to get the right size of brush for the areas in your mouth and you will probably find you will have a collection of sizes to use. If you have the wrong size you are just wasting your time and not cleaning the teeth. The brushes are used without any toothpaste and must be cleaned between each use.
In areas too tight to use the brushes, then switch to floss. This is often needed between the lower six front teeth. Remember flossing is a wiping action along the side of the teeth, don’t move the floss backwards and forwards between the teeth as it will damage the gum and make it bleed. Get some lessons from your dentist or other dental professionals.
Flossing can be awkward, so make it easy for yourself and use Flossing Aids from Glide or Crest. You only need two fingers and it will be so easy to do!
Do It All Again
It is important to clean your teeth twice a day. Once a day is not enough.
At the start it will probably take you longer than five minutes, but once you get used to the techniques and tools you will speed up dramatically, easily achieving it all in five minutes.
It is important to get advice on the tools and techniques that will work best for you. We will work out the correct size of interdental brush you need and show you how to use them. We like the Glide flossing aid and will demonstrate in your mouth how to use it and hopefully show how easy it is to floss.
Finally it all comes down to you. We can show you what to use and how to use it, but it is up to you to take this knowledge and use it to protect your teeth.