Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste will help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
- Put a pea-sized blob of fluoride toothpaste on your toothbrush
- Using small circular movements, brush your teeth starting at the back on one side and work your way round methodically to cover all surfaces.
- Don’t forget the hard-to-reach wisdom teeth. You may need to angle your brush in from the opposite side of your mouth to get behind the wisdom teeth.
- It is very important to brush along the gum line as well as the teeth themselves.
A toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles is best as you run less of a risk of damaging your teeth and gums by brushing too hard. An electric toothbrush can help to improve removing plaque as you don’t need to concentrate on doing circular movements, only positioning the brush. Don’t forget that you will spend just as much time brushing with a manual as an electric toothbrush. It should take about 2-3 minutes to brush your teeth. We would be happy to do a demo of the correct brushing technique for both manual and electric tooth brushes to help you decide the right one for you.
Mouthwashes are not generally necessary unless your dentist has recommended one for your needs. You may be recommended a fluoride mouthwash if you have an increased risk of caries (decay). An antibacterial mouthwash is sometimes recommended for a week or two after extractions or as a compliment to brushing if you have gum disease.
We recommend Oral B Satin Floss/Tape or Glide as they are plastic coated and slip easily between teeth no matter how crowded they are. Use a 30 cm long piece of floss and wind it round your fingers to get a short stretch of floss taut between your fingers. Saw the floss down between the contact point of two teeth, being careful not to push too hard in case the floss cuts down onto the gum. When down below the contact point, slide the floss up and down on each of the tooth surfaces and then pull it up. If you find it difficult to get the floss secure in your fingers, you can try floss sticks which have the floss already strung onto a plastic holder. When you first start flossing, your gums may bleed. Don’t worry about this – as you get better at flossing and as your gums become healthier, this will reduce.
Your dentist may also recommend the use of interdental brushes (Tepe brushes) which can be an effective (and often easier) alternative to flossing.