How to Take Care of Your Teeth

Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day

You brush your teeth to remove plaque from your teeth and this helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. So at night time and one other time during the day.

You can use an electric or a manual toothbrush, using the correct brushing technique. If you do use a manual toothbrush, it’s nice to use a bamboo brush because it’s good for the environment.

For children up to the age of eight, parents should supervise their brushing because they don’t have the correct manual dexterity to be able to brush their teeth correctly.

Plaque disclosing tablets can also help you find areas that you’re missing when you are brushing. It dyes the areas of plaque in a certain color so you brush them away to aid good brushing.

If you do brush your teeth, do it at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking.

ToothWave – Innovative Dental RF Toothbrush

How To Brush Your Teeth Properly With A Manual Toothbrush

Using a manual toothbrush is completely fine. You can use a bamboo brush, as well, if you want to. It’s a bit more eco-friendly, rather than the plastic ones.

Electric toothbrushes can be a bit more efficient, but with a manual toothbrush you can reach really good oral hygiene, as well, as long as you’re using the correct technique.

Use the bristles of your toothbrush and come in at a 45 degree angle to the actual gum margin, and then you rotate the toothbrush, so that you are removing all the debris from around the tooth.

So, it’s a 45 degree angle, rotate it, a nice circular motion. And then, you slowly gradually move forward. Each tooth you should do, so probably about five rotations, just to make sure that you do it enough time to catch all the debris.

First do the outside surfaces of the tooth, and then you go on to the bite surfaces. Same thing in a rotational manner.

You want to try and get the bristles of the toothbrush to go into all the nooks and crannies of all the teeth.

And then, the inside surfaces of the teeth. Same thing, 45 degree angle, so the bristles of the toothbrush are almost poking right into the gum margins, removing any bits of debris that might even be underneath the gum margins. Circular motion, each tooth, about five times.

And then you gently move forwards. You do it all the way to the front.

Spend 30 seconds per quadrant. A quadrant is all the way from your front tooth to the back tooth, on say the upper-right-hand side, then the upper-left-hand side, lower-left, and then the lower-right.

So 30 seconds per quadrant would make it up to two minutes all together brushing your teeth.

Replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if you’re looking at the toothbrush bristles and you find that they’re worn, misshapen, or flat.

How To Use Interdental Brushes

Interdental brushes are small bottle brushes that you can use to clean in between your teeth.

The size of the brush that you use depends on the size of the gaps in between your teeth. Essentially, you can go to your dentist, or your hygienist, and they can explain which brush would be great for you.

The way that you use these, is that you place it in between your teeth. As you’re putting it in between your teeth, put it all the way through, but do make sure that you don’t poke the gum on the inside of your pallet on the inside.

You’ve got to orientate it through your tooth, and then, press it along one side of the tooth, and then retract it back.

Then, you can give it a wash, if you’ve got debris on it. Reapply it into the same place, press it against the other side of the tooth, and then retract it back. In that way, you’re cleaning both of the surfaces of the teeth, and you’ve got a nice clean area at the end.

Once you’re done cleaning it, give it a wash, and then you can place it away.

Each one should usually last you more than one use. Usually, you can use them for about a week, or so, each.

But, if you find that the bristles are coming away, or they’re bending back on themselves, discard it sooner and get a new one.

When you first start using these brushes, if you’ve not used them before, you may find that your gum starts bleeding. Your gums are bleeding because they will be irritated and inflamed from all the debris there.

When you start using these, you’ll find over a period of time, the more you use them, the healthier your gums will become, because you are then removing the debris regularly from your teeth.

Use them at least once a day before you brush your teeth. So you remove the debris from in between your teeth, and then you brush it away at the end.

Remember, to give them a wash and keep them safely, so you can use them again the next time.

Generally speaking, you don’t have to lubricate these brushes with any mouthwash or toothpaste. But, if you go and see your hygienist or your dentist, and they recommend otherwise, they might have some personal recommendations just for you.

Should You Rinse After Brushing?

When you brush your teeth with toothpaste, be sure to spit out your toothpaste but not to rinse your mouth after it.

The toothpaste has to have contact with your tooth over a long period of time for it to work, and for the chemicals inside the toothpaste to actually have the benefits.

Make sure that you don’t use mouthwash straight after as well. You can use mouthwash, but at a different time to brushing your teeth. This way you get the best benefits from your toothpaste and your mouthwash.

So, when you rinse your mouth after using your toothpaste, you’re actually removing all the goodness of the toothpaste away from your mouth.

So, if you don’t rinse your mouth out and you just spit the excess toothpaste out, and you leave the rest of the toothpaste in contact with your teeth, you’ll have greater benefits from using that toothpaste.

After you’ve brushed your teeth, try and leave it at least half an hour before you have anything to eat or drink. That way you’ve got the best chance of the toothpaste having a good effect on your teeth.

The other thing is that if you brush your teeth at night time, try and brush it last thing at night, so you then just go straight to bed so you don’t have anything to eat or drink afterwards. That way you’ve left the toothpaste contact in your teeth for the longest period of time.

Flossing: Getting Started

Interdental cleaning is when you clean the gaps in-between your teeth.

You find that you’ve got your teeth, and between the two teeth, you’ve got a small gap in-between each one. That area is called the interdental area.

So it’s really important to keep that area clean because you can food, debris, stains in-between those areas of the teeth.

Usually when you brush your teeth, the toothbrush bristles don’t go right in-between the teeth. So you either need to use floss or brushes to clean this interdental area.

Lots of people avoid flossing their teeth because they believe that when they floss, their gums start bleeding. The truth is the gums are bleeding because you’re not flossing your teeth.

What happens is that bits of food and debris get stuck in-between your teeth, in this interdental area, the gap in-between your teeth and it inflames your gums. So when your gums are inflamed, they bleed.

One way to stop your gums bleeding and stop your gum disease is to floss and clean in-between your teeth, either with floss or with the right interdental brushes.

If you start flossing for the first time and you’ve not flossed for a long period of time, you’re going to find that the gums in-between your teeth are really inflamed because you’ve not done it and you’ve got so much plaque and build-up of debris in-between your teeth.

So when you first start flossing, you may be shocked because your gums will really, really start bleeding. But if you floss everyday for two weeks, that’s the amount of time that your gums will need to heal and become healthy again.

And at the end of the two weeks, you will then find that your gums are no longer bleeding when you’re flossing.

You use floss in areas that are really tight, or you can use brushes in areas that are more gappy and bigger.

So this area in-between your teeth, you can either have teeth up very close together, or you can have gums that have receded up. In that case, you’ve got a bigger area in-between your teeth, so the floss won’t really remove all the bits of food and debris in-between your teeth. You need to use a brush.

If you go to your dentist, your dentist will show you which brush is the best size. Because you can get different size brushes, depending on different size gaps in-between your teeth. So your dentist can tell you which brush is best to use in-between your teeth.

You should floss once a day before you brush your teeth. So when you floss, you’ll be removing all the debris from in-between your teeth, and then you can come along with your toothbrush and remove all that debris away.

So at the end, you’ll have nice, clean teeth and gums.

Flossing is quite technique-sensitive. Whereas using the interdental brushes, lots of people find that a lot easier because you just literally need to poke that in and out in-between the gums.

But brushes don’t work for everybody, because if you’ve got really tight gaps, you’re not going to be able to fit the brushes in-between your teeth. It’s only people with gaps that are large enough that that would work for.

So when people try to floss their teeth, they don’t really know the correct technique for flossing their teeth. They end up jabbing the floss up and down, and they end up traumatising their gums.

How To Floss

There is a correct technique as to how you’re meant to floss your teeth, which is to wrap the floss around your fingers and put it in-between your teeth, almost in a C-shape so that it follows the contour of your tooth up to the gum level.

You then remove the debris in-between your tooth and your gum. And then you come back out and then you follow the contour of your tooth back on the other side.

Essentially, it’s two sort of C shapes, rather than just jabbing it up and down.

When you clean in-between your teeth, you might find that when you remove the floss from in-between your teeth, there’s some debris on there that you’ve removed.

If it’s a long string of floss, you then move on to the next piece of clean floss to your next bit of interdental cleaning.

Or if it’s on a flosset or a handheld piece of floss, you can just wash that debris away so you’ve got clean floss to go onto the next tooth, until all your teeth are nice and clean at the end.

You can get handheld, premounted floss sticks, and you can reuse them, wash them and reuse them. But when they become broken, loose or misshapen, that’s a good time to discard them and then get your next one.

There are some more environmentally friendly options for floss available, things like silk floss and bamboo floss that you can look into as well.

When To Use Mouthwash?

If you have a really good oral hygiene routine, you don’t necessarily need to use a mouthwash.

When you use your mouthwash, try not to use it straight after brushing your teeth. Once you’ve brushed your teeth with toothpaste, spit out, don’t rinse out, and leave that toothpaste contact in your teeth for a long period of time.

It is generally good advice to use your mouthwash at separate times to when you brush your teeth.

So you don’t necessarily need to use a premium mouthwash, any mouthwash with will do. There are some mouthwashes that contain alcohol, and some that are specialised for gum care, or for dry mouths.

Depending on which condition you have, it may be good to go and see your dentist, who might be able to recommend to you the correct mouthwash to use.

Common Mistakes When Taking Care Of Your Teeth

Here are some common mistakes that people make when they’re brushing their teeth.

People don’t brush for long enough. Most people actually only brush for 45 seconds. Actually, you’re meant to brush for two minutes twice a day.

Some people brush too often, so they brush for too long and this can actually be damaging for your teeth. Some people brush their teeth too soon after eating. It’s best to leave it at least half an hour before brushing your teeth.

People can brush with too much pressure, and again, this can wear your teeth away rather than actually cleaning them.

People don’t brush with the right technique, so they’re not removing the maximum amount of plaque and debris away from their teeth.

People use a toothbrush that is too old. You should replace your toothbrush, or your toothbrush head, every three months. Or, if you look at the bristles on your toothbrush, when they’re worn away, disfigured or splayed.

Some people use a hard-bristled toothbrush. This can be damaging for your teeth as it can brush your tooth surfaces too hard and actually brush them away.

People can use too much toothpaste on their toothbrushes. It’s best to use a pea-size amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush.

People rinse after brushing. It’s important to spit, not to rinse, so the toothpaste has maximum contact at the time with your teeth.

People forget to floss. You must floss at least once a day before brushing.

People forget to clean their tongue. Your tongue is very important to clean because it holds a lot of debris and it can help with fresher breath as well.

People don’t visit the dentist regularly enough. They may think that they don’t have any pain or any problems with your teeth, but if you visit your dentist you can be sure, and they can highlight any underlying problems that you might have.

People assume they’re too old for braces. There are lots of brace system available now that are available to adults.

People chew only on one side of the mouth. It’s important to use both sides evenly to chew your food, as this will help your jaw and prevent any pain in your jaw joints as well.

People don’t teach their children to take care of their teeth very early on. It’s important to learn this skill quite early on. If you teach your children to brush their teeth twice a day from a young age, they’ll never know any different, and they’ll always have good teeth.

People use plastic brushes. There are other options available that are more environmentally friendly these days, such as bamboo brushes.

Are Toothpicks Ok To Use?

Are toothpicks bad for your teeth? Wooden toothpicks, which are sharp and pointy, can damage your gums. They can splinter between your teeth and can cause them to bleed.

You’re probably better off using floss or flossettes or interdental brushes because they are much gentler on your teeth and some of them even have rubber points so they don’t actually damage your teeth and remove bits of food effectively from in between your teeth.

Is Chewing Gum Bad For Your Teeth?

Many people may think that chewing chewing gum is bad for your teeth. This may not be the case if it’s sugar-free chewing gum, and you have it 20 minutes after having your meal.

Chewing chewing gum can stimulate saliva in your mouth, and it can help to neutralize the acids in your mouth to give a healthy environment.

Most chewing gums actually have artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, xylitol, and sorbitol, which don’t actually cause cavities, and make the chewing gum quite sweet, as well.

What Happens If You Don’t Brush Your Teeth?

Skipping one brushing session is not a major problem as long as you resume your normal brushing on the following days.

30% of people don’t brush their teeth the recommended two times a day and 2% don’t even brush their teeth at all.

If you continue not brushing your teeth you’ll have a buildup of plaque, debris, food debris, calculus around your teeth, which will then lead to bleeding gums, tooth decay, bad breath and several other problems.

For the patients who haven’t been brushing their teeth or they haven’t brushed their teeth for a few years, essentially in the end they may end up losing their teeth and they may have to go for things like dentures or implants.

How To Brush Your Tongue

You should brush your tongue as well as your teeth.

Your tongue can hold up to 90% of bacteria causing bad breath and bad smells. So, if you brush or clean your tongue twice a day, it helps remove that bacterial load, and it helps to reduce bad breath.

The best way to do this is you can use your toothbrush, or some toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner on the back of the toothbrush head, or you can use a specific tongue cleaner.

Scrapers tend to be slightly more effective because they’re made especially for cleaning the tongue and they’re correctly shaped for the tongue, but using something is better than using nothing.

Here is how to clean your tongue:

1. Stick out your tongue as far as possible.

2. Using a mirror look for areas of the tongue with the most buildup of debris. Normally at the centre and the back of the tongue, it is generally a white color.

3. Place your tongue scraper or brush onto the tongue, being sure to target the area most affected.

4. Press down gently with the scraper or brush and pull the cleaner from the back towards the tip of the tongue.

5. Rinse the scraper clean under a running tap to remove the removed debris.

6. Repeat steps three, four, and five until no more debris can be removed.

If desired, rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.

How to Take Care of Your Teeth
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