Everyday we get bombarded with advice and commands on what to do to keep our teeth in the best possible state, so that they last the journey of life. Of course it’s all very well throwing this information at us, but we’re never told how to carry out these techniques properly. ‘Brush properly for 3 minutes’ and ‘floss often to dislodge bacteria and bits of food’. 47.2% of people over the age of 30 in the UK have experienced some kind of periodontal complication which suggests that many of us are not brushing or flossing properly.

 

Flossing

The best time to floss is the evening after you’ve eaten your final meal/before you go to bed. There is not a lot of point in flossing in the mornings as you shouldn’t have anything to dislodge from your teeth (that is if you’ve flossed and brushed property the previous night!).

 

What kind of floss?

Make sure you use nylon or PTFE floss – these are the best two types.

 

Technique

  • You should be using about 18” of floss as this leaves you excess with which to work.
  • Weave in and out in the curves of your teeth.
  • Clean below the gumline but be careful not to snap the floss on your gums.

 

Brushing

  • It’s important to know that you should be looking at changing your toothbrush every 3 months (when it starts to wear). If you continue using a worn toothbrush, it won’t do its job properly. Simple.
  • Brush for 2 – 3 minutes at least twice a day – this is the bare minimum!
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue – this will leave you with much fresher breath.
  • Brush the outer sides of your upper teeth, followed by your lower teeth. Then,
  • brush the inner sides of your upper teeth followed by your lower teeth.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces.
  • The brush should be at a 45 degree angle against your gumline, rolling the brush away from your gumline to sweep away the bacteria and bits of food.
  • Make sure you’re careful and tentative when flossing. You shouldn’t be seeing any blood or be in any pain.
  • Flossing before you brush is more effective than the reverse, allowing more fluoride from your toothpaste to reach the nooks and crannies between your teeth where foods are likely to lodge themselves.
  • DON’T wrap floss around the gums of multiple teeth. The results will NOT be as effective and you risk hurting your gums.