2 – Manual or electric?
Manual and electric toothbrushes are equally as good and long as you brush all the surfaces of your teeth.
3 – What makes a good toothbrush?
- A small or medium head
- Compact, angled arrangement of both long and short round – end bristles
- Soft or medium bristles
- Oscillating or rotating head
Tip – Replace your toothbrush or brush attachment every three months
4 – Which toothpaste?
The most important ingredient in toothpaste is the concentration of fluoride.
- Adults should use toothpaste containing at least 1,350ppm fluoride
- Children 7+ and young adults should use 1,350-1,500ppm fluoride
- Children 3-6 years should use a pea size blob of toothpaste
- Children younger than 3 should use a smear of toothpaste
Tip - Your dentist may give you a more specific concentration of fluoride depending on the health of your teeth.
5 – How to brush
Ensure that you brush all the surfaces of your teeth – the inside, outside and chewing surfaces. This should take two minutes if done properly.
Once you have brushed your teeth, spit out any excess toothpaste but refrain from washing your mouth out with water or mouthwash.
Children require supervision when brushing their teeth until at least 7 years of age.
Tip – Never share your toothbrush as this can spread infections
6 – Should I floss and how?
Yes, you should floss. Flossing not only dislodges the the food stuck in between your teeth but regular flossing can help to reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing the plaque which forms along the gum line.
- Take about 15inches of floss/dental tape and grasp it so you have a couple of inches of floss taut between your hands
- Slide the floss between the teeth and gum as far as it will go
- Floss with 8-10 strokes up and down between each toot
7 – Using interdental brushes
These are an alternative to floss or dental tape. These brushes are useful if you have gaps in between your teeth.
Tip - Never use toothpicks to remove lodged food as these can damage your gums, which can lead to an infection.
8 – Mouthwash?
Use a mouthwash containing fluoride as this can help prevent tooth decay. You should not use mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth and you should not eat for at least 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.
Use fluoride toothpaste
Brush twice daily