Your journey towards good oral health starts with brushing your teeth.
It’s so simple. Twice daily toothbrushing is the most important thing you can do for your smile.
By being aware of what you can do to develop and maintain good oral health, you can change your life for the better. Let’s get brushing!
Why is brushing important?
Twice daily toothbrushing and daily cleaning between your teeth is important because it removes plaque.
If plaque isn’t removed, it continues to build up and could lead to a number of oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease. Over time, this can lead to tooth loss.
Good oral health has many benefits, not only for your mouth but your overall wellbeing too. In recent years, gum disease has been linked with a number of general health conditions. Including:
• Heart disease and strokes.
• Early onset of dementia.
• Early and low-weight births.
• Erectile dysfunction.
“Toothbrushing goes far beyond keeping your teeth
and gums healthy. It also improves your quality of life”
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive, Oral Health Foundation
The type of toothbrush
Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective for keeping your
teeth and gums healthy. Your dental team will be able to recommend a
toothbrush suitable for your needs.
Adults should be looking for a small-to-medium-sized brush head. This
should have soft-to-medium, multi-tufted, round-ended nylon bristles
or ‘filaments’. The head should be small enough to reach all parts of the
mouth – especially the back of the mouth where it can be difficult to reach.
Children should use smaller brushes but with the same type of filaments.
It is now possible to buy more specialised toothbrushes. For instance, if
you suffer from sensitive teeth, you can now use softer-bristled brushes.
There are also smaller brush heads for those with irregular-shaped teeth.
Some may also find it difficult to hold a toothbrush, for example because
of limited movements or disabilities. There are now toothbrushes which
have large handles and angled heads to make them easier to use.
Electric toothbrushes have oscillating rotating or vibrating heads. Tests show these toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque. Everyone can benefit from an electric brush. They are particularly useful those with limited movement, such as disabled or elderly people. As many now come with mobile apps, they can also be better for children, who are motivated by the interactive nature of using an electric brush.
Bleeding gums are extremely common. So much so, that most people will suffer from them at some point during their life. Bleeding gums are the first
sign of gum disease and should be taken seriously. Any bleeding should stop once you have broken down all the plaque that sits on your gumline. This can be done by brushing twice-a-day, and cleaning in between your teeth interdentally once-a-day. If the bleeding does not stop, tell us!
Changing your toothbrush
Worn-out toothbrushes cannot clean your teeth properly and may damage your gums. It is important to change your toothbrush, or toothbrush head (for electric users) every twoto-three months, or sooner if the filaments become worn. When bristles become splayed, they do not clean properly.
How to Brush
Brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and biting surfaces of your teeth. This should be done for two minutes, twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste.
Here are some simple steps for brushing your teeth effectively with a manual toothbrush. Remember that everybody has different needs, so if this doesn’t feel right, talk to us. We will be able to guide you in the right direction.
1-Place the head of your toothbrush against your teeth,
then tilt the bristle tips to a 45-degree angle against your
gumline. Move the brush in small circular movements,
several times, on all the surfaces of every tooth.
2-Brush the outer surface of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against your gumline.
3-Do this again, but on the inside surfaces of all your teeth.
4-To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several small, circular strokes with the front part
of the brush.
5-Brush the biting surfaces of your teeth
6-Brush your tongue to help freshen your breath and clean your mouth
by removing bacteria.
Be sure to brush thoroughly with a fluoride toothpaste last thing at night and at least one other time during the day. If you regularly keep getting discomfort or bleeding after brushing, tell us!
IT ONLY TAKES 2! Two minutes. That’s all it takes to brush all the areas of your mouth effectively. Wether you use a manual or an electric toothbrush!
A pea-sized blob of fluoride toothpaste should be used when brushing your teeth. After three years-old, the amount of fluoride should be between 1350ppm to 1500ppm. This is enough to help strengthen your teeth and protect you from tooth decay.
As well as regular toothpastes, there are many specialised toothpastes. These include tartar control for people who get tartar build-up, and a choice of toothpastes for people with sensitive teeth. ‘Total care’ toothpastes include ingredients to help fight gum disease, freshen breath and reduce plaque build-up. ‘Whitening’ toothpastes are good at removing staining to
help restore the natural colour of your teeth. Remember to spit out after brushing and do not rinse your mouth with water. This helps the fluoride stay on your teeth longer.
Other things you can use…
A fluoride mouthwash can help you prevent tooth decay. Your dental
team may recommend an antibacterial mouthwash, such as Corsodyl, to help control plaque and reduce gum disease. Mouthwashes can also help eliminate bad breath and give your mouth that fresh feeling it deserves.Always use a different time to toothbrushing though, so you don’t wash off that stringer fluoride!
Cleaning in between your teeth removes plaque from between your teeth
and under your gumline. This can be done with interdental brushes or floss – both can reach areas that a toothbrush can’t. For a healthy mouth, you should clean in between your teeth at least once a day.
It is always better to prevent problems rather than have to cure them
when they happen. Because of this, you should visit us
regularly, as often as we recommend. This way, will able to spot any problems earlier, making treatments easier and less invasive.