We all think we know how to clean our teeth; it seems such a basic task. However, there is more to it than meets the eye.
Firstly, we need to understand the enemy – it’s plaque. This is a bio film of bacteria that build up on the teeth around the gum area. The bacteria that are present in saliva fix themselves to the teeth by producing sticky starch like molecules and this, along with the bugs, make plaque. It takes twelve hours to form and thus we need to brush it off twice a day
If left on the teeth the bacteria produce toxins which cause inflammation in the gum called gingivitis. This will make the gums red and swollen and prone to bleed when brushed.
If the plaque is left for longer it will harden, by the action of the calcium that is present in saliva, into tartar
Tartar, if left, caused the gums to be pushed back and teeth can be lost due to the resultant gum disease.
- Put a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on a compact medium brush and angle this at 45° to the gums, moving it in small circles over the areas where teeth and gums meet. Cover all the areas. Now clean the top surfaces of the teeth.
- Take an interspace brush, which is a very small pointed head of bristles, and clean in between the teeth, particularly in the area around the lower front teeth where a lot tartar tends to form.
- Floss with dental tape the lower front six teeth and, if you can, all the rest.
- Rinse with a non alcohol fluoride rinse.
Following this regime will mean that you’re in the champion league for dental hygiene – well done!
Hold on! Don’t forget to visit the dentist for regular examinations and professional cleaning by a hygienist every six months.
If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, please contact us!