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Tooth Brushing Tips

Brushing your teeth regularly is the key to maintaining good oral health. Even though we’ve been brushing our teeth multiple times per day ever since we were children and it seems easy enough, brushing with the correct technique and choosing the most appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste is essential. Here are some tips to help you brush your teeth most effectively:

Choosing a toothbrush

  1. Choose a toothbrush that sits comfortably in your hand, whether manual or electric.
  2. If you have a small mouth, select a toothbrush with a small head and if you have a larger mouth, select a toothbrush with a larger head.
  3. The toothbrush bristles should be softer rather than harder to protect your enamel.
  4. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

Choosing a toothpaste

  1. Adults should use toothpaste that contains at least 1,350ppm fluoride.
  2. Children over the ages of seven and young adults should use toothpaste that contains between 1,350 – 1,500ppm fluoride.
  3. Children between the ages of three and six should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  4. Children below the age of three should use a smear of toothpaste.

Brushing technique

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice per day: in the morning and in the evening.
  2. Spend approximately three minutes brushing your teeth to ensure that you remove plaque, food debris and bacteria effectively.
  3. Rinse your toothbrush before and after use.
  4. Ensure that you spend adequate and equal time cleaning all the surfaces of each tooth before moving on to the next.
  5. When you brush the upper part of your teeth close to the gumline, angle your toothbrush towards your gums.
  6. To clean the inside surfaces of the teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use up and down brushing motions.
  7. Use a gentle brushing motion using short strokes instead of a forceful, scrubbing one.
  8. Use just enough pressure to feel the bristles against your teeth and gums. The bristles should not be squashed.
  9. Pay extra attention to hard-to-reach places, the gumline and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration work.
  10. Watch yourself brushing in the mirror to ensure that you don’t neglect any areas.
  11. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can cause bad breath.
  12. After brushing your teeth, use floss to clean in between the teeth and remove any food particles lodged there.

6 Ways You Can Make Your Smile Brighter

A whiter, brighter smile can make you appear years younger and can do wonders for your confidence. Fortunately, there are many ways you can make your smile brighter without breaking the bank.

  1. Boost your calcium intake

Since a healthy mouth and white teeth are intimately connected, one of the best ways you can improve the health of your teeth is by making them stronger with an increased intake of calcium. Eating a balanced, vitamin and mineral-rich diet does wonders for your oral health and helps to fight against oral health problems that can negatively impact the appearance and nature of the teeth, such as periodontal disease and tooth decay. Improve your calcium levels by consuming more dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt and green, leafy vegetables.

  1. Avoid things that stain the teeth

Even though we might enjoy them, consuming things like red wine, coffee and tea can stain the teeth and reduce the brightness of your smile. In addition, tobacco is a huge culprit when it comes to staining the teeth, so cutting back on this is a positive step to improving the whiteness of your teeth.

  1. Use a DIY whitener

While you will undoubtedly get better results from professional whitening, if you can’t afford the treatment, try a DIY whitener from a pharmacy. These products can help penetrate the deeper layers of the tooth to bleach the teeth.

  1. Look after your oral hygiene

It sounds simple and it is. The number one way you can assist in making your teeth whiter and brighter is by looking after your oral hygiene. This means brushing at least twice per day and flossing once.

  1. Increase your Vitamin C levels

Like calcium, Vitamin C assists in maintaining a healthy mouth. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant to help repair tissue and prevent bacteria that can cause disease from taking hold in the gums. Be sure to include fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin C such as papaya, strawberries, kiwifruit and broccoli in your diet.

  1. Eat crunchy fruit and vegetables

Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples and celery is great for maintaining bright teeth, since eating these foods stimulates the production of saliva. This is beneficial for teeth since saliva helps to protect the teeth from bacteria caused by plaque by helping to break down food particles that can become stuck in the teeth.

Choosing the Right Toothpaste

The number of toothpaste options on the market these days is huge and it can be overwhelming making a decision about the best one to buy. There are toothpastes that whiten teeth, control tartar and contain fluoride. Which one should you purchase? This guide about the various toothpastes on the market should help you choose the right toothpaste for you.

Types of toothpastes

  • Fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride is the most important ingredient to look for when selecting a toothpaste. It is a natural mineral that has contributed to a rapid decrease in tooth decay over the past 50 years. Fluoride helps to protect your teeth from the acid that is released after eating. Using a toothpaste containing fluoride will help you maintain healthy teeth.
  • Toothpaste for sensitive teeth: For people whose teeth are sensitive to either hot or cold temperatures, there is toothpaste available that will help to combat this problem. These toothpastes contain either potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, which helps to block the nerve pathway.
  • Whitening toothpaste: There are a number of whitening toothpastes now on the market for people who are concerned about improving the whiteness of their teeth. Contrary to popular belief, whitening toothpaste does not contain bleach. Instead, they contain abrasive particles that act to polish teeth and help remove stains.
  • Tartar control toothpaste: There are many varieties of toothpastes that control tartar on the teeth. Plaque that isn’t cleaned properly hardens into tartar over time. Tartar control toothpastes contain ingredients such as pyrophosphates and zinc citrate as well as an antibiotic called triclosan, which helps to kill bacteria.
  • Natural toothpaste: For those who are uncomfortable with brushing with chemicals, natural toothpastes are an option. Be aware that some of these do not contain fluoride.

10 Tips for choosing a toothpaste

  1. Fluoride is the most important ingredient to look for in a toothpaste
  2. Consult your dentist for their recommendations for any specific dental concerns you have
  3. Avoid whitening toothpaste if you have sensitive teeth
  4. Read the label carefully to ensure that the toothpaste is suited for you
  5. Understand that natural toothpastes usually don’t contain fluoride
  6. Look for dental association approval
  7. Not every toothpaste is right for everybody
  8. Avoid heavily sweetened toothpaste
  9. Discuss additional oral hygiene techniques with your dentist
  10. You may consider purchasing a few different varieties of toothpaste to alternate between.

10 Toothbrush Mistakes You Could Be Making

Brushing your teeth correctly is very important in maintaining good oral health. Even if you brush twice a day and feel like it’s second nature, you might not be cleaning your teeth correctly, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Are you making any of these mistakes?

  1. You’re brushing with the wrong-sized toothbrush

It’s important to choose a toothbrush that fits the size of your mouth. If you find yourself straining to open your mouth wide enough for the toothbrush, it’s probably too big. Your toothbrush should feel natural in your mouth and in your hand.

  1. You don’t brush often enough or long enough

You should be brushing at least twice per day and three times is ideal. It’s also important to brush for at least two minutes. Make sure you give each section of your mouth equal attention.

  1. You brush too hard

You must be gentle with your teeth. It doesn’t take too much effort to remove plaque. In fact, brushing too aggressively can wear away the protective enamel of your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity and other dental problems.

  1. You’re not brushing with the correct technique

If you brush your teeth with wide, side-to-side strokes, your gums may become scraped. Instead, hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums, make an up and down motion and use short strokes. Be sure to give those hard-to-reach places the attention they need to avoid plaque building up.

  1. You always brush in the same sequence

If you always begin brushing in the same place, you can get lazy and commonly miss certain spots. Start in a different place to ensure this doesn’t happen.

  1. You’re using the wrong toothpaste

Even if you use a certain toothpaste to control tartar or whiten your teeth, this can have other harmful affects on your mouth. Some ingredients in these kinds of toothpastes can have an abrasive effect on your teeth. Plain fluoride toothpaste is best.

  1. You brush too soon after consuming acidic foods and drinks

Although it is a good idea to brush your teeth after eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks, make sure you wait half an hour before doing so. The acid you have just consumed softens teeth and brushing directly afterwards can assist in wearing away the enamel.

  1. You don’t rinse your toothbrush

If you don’t rinse your toothbrush regularly, germs and bacteria can gather on the head.

  1. You’re storing your toothbrush flat

Leaving your toothbrush lying flat allows germs and dust to settle on it. Keep it stored upright and let it air dry.

  1. You don’t change your toothbrush regularly enough

It is recommended that you change your toothbrush every 3 – 4 months. Once the bristles lose their regular flexibility, it is a signal that you need a new toothbrush.

Thumb Sucking: When to Intervene

Thumb sucking is a common childhood habit that can be difficult to break. It is so widespread, in fact, that some studies have estimated that as many as 90% of children between the ages of 2 and 4 suck their thumbs. Thumb sucking does not usually pose long-term problems, with most children growing out of the habit naturally. When this doesn’t occur, however, it is important to intervene so that the dental health of your child is not compromised in the long-term.

Why it happens

Children suck their thumbs primarily because it is calming and comforting. Some babies begin to do this before they are even born and are still in the womb. Babies have instinctive sucking reflexes and when objects (or thumbs) are placed in their mouth, sucking is their natural reaction. Because the act of sucking is soothing for babies, they may naturally develop a habit of thumb sucking and may resort to it if they are feeling anxious, tired, sick, bored, or when trying to adjust to new challenges, such as starting day care, for instance.

How long does it last?

Most children will gradually grow out of the habit without intervention during their toddler years. Sometimes a child will continue sucking his or her thumb beyond this age. It’s also important to remember that even though a child may appear to have grown out of the habit, he or she may revert back to it as a comfort if they experience negative emotions.

When to intervene

Usually thumb sucking is not a cause for concern until the child’s set of permanent teeth comes through, usually around age 5 – 6. After this point, thumb sucking may begin to impact the roof of the mouth (palate) or the alignment of the teeth. This is especially the case if the sucking is aggressive. At this point, it is important to intervene because otherwise the habit could cause long-term dental effects.

Long-term effects of thumb sucking

If a child continues to suck his or her thumb beyond the age of 5 – 6, some of the long-term effects can include:

  • The movement of teeth, which may result in alignment problems, causing either an overbite or an underbite
  • The jaw bone positioning changing which can cause a lisp
  • The palate becoming more sensitive or damaged

How to intervene

The best intervention methods to discourage thumb sucking in children older than 5 or 6 include:

  • Eliminating sources of stress which can lead to thumb sucking as a coping mechanism
  • Positive reinforcement for the exhibition of desirable behaviour that does not involve thumb sucking. Negative reinforcement may cause a stress reaction.
  • Distractions such as toys or games if the child begins sucking his or her thumb
  • Offering gentle reminders to stop

Missing you …

Dentures Chatham

Dental Implants:

Q: What is the benefit of a dental implant?

A: In the past, the only alternatives to replace a natural tooth were either a bridge or a denture. A denture is a replacement tooth or teeth that is removable and a bridge is a false tooth fixed to teeth on either side. These alternatives are sometimes a poor solution and can have complications, so on the whole, we can safely say that a dental implant is the gold standard. (more…)

Self Healing


So much in the world of dentistry involves using materials foreign to the body such as composite resin or porcelain; these work well but they are fundamentally different than natural tooth.

When we replace a lost tooth with an implant, we place the implant in the jaw bone. This heals and secures the implant in situ. (more…)

Nervous patients, you CAN get the dental treatment you need

Does the thought of visiting the dentist leave you cold with fear? Are you avoiding dental treatment, even if you’re in pain, because you simply can’t face sitting in the dentist’s chair? Perhaps a childhood experience of visiting the dentist has put you off for life?

You’re not alone.


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