To maintain healthy teeth and gums we need to remove as much plaque and bacteria out of our mouth as possible before they have a chance to cause inflammation of the gums or decay in the teeth. To best remove plaque, we should be brushing 2x day for 2 minutes with 2cm of fluoridated toothpaste and either using floss or interdental brushes to remove plaque from in-between the teeth.
How to Floss Properly
If flossing, grab about 30cm and wrap each end around your middle finger and use your index fingers and thumbs to floss in-between the teeth. Once you have the floss in-between your teeth, push the floss against each side of the tooth and move it in an up-and-down motion so the floss goes under the gum. Don’t be afraid if the gums start bleeding as this is a sign of inflammation and will reduce with regular flossing as the bacteria is removed. If using an interdental brush make sure the size you are using fits snug in-between your teeth so both teeth are getting brushed at the same time. Use the interdental brush in a back-and-forward motion.
How to Brush Properly
When brushing, unless advised to use a different technique, the toothbrush should be held at a 45-degree angle towards the gums and used in a circular motion so both the teeth and the gums are cleaned. Remember to brush the cheek side and tongue side of the teeth with this technique. To brush the biting surfaces and tongue we can “scrub” and to brush behind the front teeth it is easiest to brush in an up-and-down motion. After brushing try not to rinse with any water, just spit out the excess toothpaste so the fluoride in the toothpaste can stay on your teeth for longer and help protect them against decay.
Mouthwashes are not recommended for everyone but if you like using one it is best to use an alcohol-free mouthwash and use it either before brushing or at a time during the day when not brushing I.e., after lunch.
Dental Check-Ups in Tamworth
Regular dental check-ups are also crucial in maintaining good oral health as clinicians can monitor your gum health, remove any hard plaque build-up (tartar), take x-rays to check for decay and identify and treat any other abnormalities.