How And When To Brush Your Teeth
Back to basics oral health care advice.
The cornerstone to good oral health lies in regular brushing of our teeth. This not only keeps our teeth looking good, but helps to remove both food particles and bacteria that could otherwise lead to problems such as dental decay and gum disease.
Whilst nearly everyone brushes their teeth twice a day; the way it is done, and the timing, can have a significant impact on its effectiveness. In this blog, we take a look at a few factors that might help you to improve your oral health with very little extra effort.
At Much Hadham Dental Care, we make a point of reminding our patients, from time to time, that an old toothbrush with worn bristles is an ineffective toothbrush. You should be replacing your brush, or electric toothbrush head, every three months at least. Bristles that are worn will be much less successful at removing bacteria from the teeth. Once you have a toothbrush that is in good condition, you are well on your way.
Make sure that you use a fluoride toothpaste; most commercial ones will have this as an ingredient as standard. Some health shop toothpastes though may have fluoride free versions. Fluoride helps to protect the enamel from damage caused by acids and the use of a fluoride free toothpaste will put your teeth at increased risk of decay.
Most of us know that we should brush our teeth for at least two minutes. If you have a young child, you should supervise them to ensure that this happens. How we spend these two minutes is important though. Brushing should be done using a small circular motion with the brush angled at around forty five degrees pointing towards the gums. This enables the bristles to not only remove bacteria from the teeth but also from just on the gum-line where buildup of plaque is the most common.
Whilst reasonable pressure should be exerted whilst brushing, you should not ‘scrub’ your teeth. Doing so, over a period of time will damage the protective enamel on your teeth.
Most of us probably brush our teeth the first thing in the morning and last thing at night. These are generally good guidelines to follow, but a little caution should be exercised.
Some people are tempted to not brush their teeth until after their breakfast due to the residual taste of the toothpaste. This is OK; however, the temptation then is to brush the teeth straight after eating. Unfortunately, following eating, the acids produced weaken the enamel of the teeth for around thirty minutes to an hour, so brushing at this point can actually cause damage to your teeth. It is much better to leave the brushing for a minimum of half an hour following your meal, if you do not wish to brush them before.
As always, we would like to remind all of our patients from Bishop’s Stortford and Ware, that adding flossing to your oral health regimen is very important too. If you struggle with this, our friendly dental hygienist will be happy to demonstrate how to do it for best effect.
For general dental care as well as cosmetic dental treatments, please call Much Hadham Dental Care on 01279 842 567.