There are many misconceptions around keeping your teeth clean and healthy. To help you, Darwenside Dental has created a guide to brushing your teeth!
How often should I brush my teeth?
Current guidelines advise that you should brush your teeth and gums using a toothbrush twice a day. The spaces between your teeth using floss, interdental brushes or a waterjet, should be cleaned once a day.
When should I brush my teeth?
You should brush your teeth first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before eating breakfast or 30 minutes after eating breakfast, and last thing at night before you go to sleep. If you need to take a drink to bed with you, water is the best option.
At what age should children start to brush their teeth?
As soon as their first tooth has appeared brushing should begin. To begin with an adult should brush a child’s teeth, eventually, they should be helped and supervised brushing until the age of seven.
What type of toothbrush should I use?
Children should use a manual toothbrush up to the age of 8. There are lots of toothbrushes available to buy, that are age-specific, so will fit into your child’s mouth. After the age of 8, electric toothbrushes can be used, but if in doubt, have a chat with your dentist. Adults can use either a manual toothbrush or an electric one. The advantages of an electric toothbrush over manual ones are that they come with an inbuilt timer, the heads are interchangeable and they can clean more efficiently difficult to reach areas.
What type of toothpaste should I use?
Children under the age of three should just use a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm of fluoride. Children between the ages of 3 and 6 should use a toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm of fluoride. No more than a pea-sized amount should be used. Adults should use a pea-sized blob on their toothbrush which contains between 1350 – 1500ppm of fluoride. After cleaning your teeth, spit out any excess toothpaste, but don’t rinse!
Should I use a mouthwash?
There are so many mouthwashes on the market that it can seem very confusing. There are mouthwashes for bad breath, antiseptic for gum disease and fluoride for an extra boost (often used during orthodontic treatment). Ask your dentist if unsure. Any mouthwash used should always be used in addition to tooth brushing. Just using a mouthwash alone is not enough to take care of your teeth and gums. The act of brushing does this. If you do use a mouthwash it should be used at a different time of the day.
With your chosen toothbrush, add your blob of toothpaste. You do not need to wet the toothbrush before adding your toothpaste. Start at the top of your mouth, at the back and making small circles, work your way across your top teeth. This should take one minute. Go back to the same side that you started from and now start to clean from the back, across the bottom teeth to the other side. Again this should take one minute. Now spit out the excess toothpaste and leave for 30 minutes before eating or drinking. If you need to use a mouthwash, again, leave it for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
We hope you enjoyed our guide on brushing your teeth! If you have any more questions about dental hygiene, why not ask us on our facebook page?