We all (hopefully) have been cleaning our teeth for as long as we can remember and assume that this has served us well. Most people take cleaning their teeth as a given and an automatic or unconscious activity, so they pay little attention to it. Have you ever wondered whether you are doing it correctly or in the best possible way? Maybe there are steps you are missing which would make a real difference? In this posting we look at some tips to see whether you can improve your routine.
1) The time factor – around two minutes.
Brushing your teeth for the right amount of time is key, yet it is something most people do not adhere to as you simply lose the concept of time whilst you are cleaning your teeth.
Too little time spent means you have not covered all areas of the mouth or to a sufficient extent.
Too much time spent means you could be doing too much of a good job and actually risk harming / damaging your teeth – avoid this.
2) The duration.
Aim to clean your teeth twice a day. One of these should be before bed after you have finished eating / drinking for the day, as this acts as a cleansing measure. The second time is ‘as appropriate and necessary.’ Most people would tend to choose the morning but saving this for when you have eaten a particular food that stains your teeth might be a better option. Avoid cleaning teeth too many times in one day however.
3) Coverage of areas – what you can and can’t see.
Just cleaning the areas of the mouth that you see because they are visible is sometimes the approach that a surprising number of people will take, but clearly this is not best practice. When cleaning teeth make sure that all areas of the mouth have received attention and pay particular notice to hard to see and hard to reach areas.
4) Choose an appropriate toothbrush
This topic can actually cover many things:
* Electric V Manual?: Most dentists favour electric toothbrushes over manual, as the power delivers a better clean. Avoid the tendency to ‘over brush’ however as the electric pulses do the work for you.
* Type and shape of toothbrush: These days you could open a shop selling just toothbrush heads, because there are that many different styles and shapes in existence, which each have different purposes. The best way to approach this is to know what they are all for, then purchase one relative to anything particularly you are looking for it to do.
* Renewal: Worn toothbrushes do not work well and most dentists recommend that they should be changed every 3 month to ensure your teeth are being cleaned to optimal standard.
Similarly to brushes, there are many different types of toothpaste which exist and this can all target a certain problem or condition (e.g. sensitivity.) Most toothpaste tends to have a combination of ‘properties’ inside them, which cover things like fighting bad breath, gum problems etc.
Whichever toothpaste you use we recommend that it contains fluoride which will help preserve your teeth.
6) Targeted cleaning.
Brushes don’t cover all areas inside the mouth, and so these areas need special attention with equipment different to a toothbrush. Using inter-dental brushes and flossing your teeth can help keep clean the gaps and other areas that are not covered by the brush.
Using a mouthwash is another complimentary measure to your teeth cleaning routine. We suggest a mouthwash which can stop tooth decay, gum disease and control plaque. Be aware that if you are feeling that you need to use a mouthwash regularly, this can be the sign of an underlying problem and this should be checked out.
8) Finally… Visit the dentist.
Sometimes, even carrying out all the steps above is not enough and so no dental regime would be complete unless you actually visit a dentist for your bi-annual check-up. Dentists have equipment and can see things that we can’t. Dentists also have the professional understanding and qualifications to know when teeth are normal or something is up. Visiting your dentist must be a priority in caring for your mouth.
To find out more on general dentistry, click the link to take you to that area.