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
- Choose a toothbrush that sits comfortably in your hand, whether manual or electric.
- 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.
- The toothbrush bristles should be softer rather than harder to protect your enamel.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
Choosing a toothpaste
- Adults should use toothpaste that contains at least 1,350ppm fluoride.
- Children over the ages of seven and young adults should use toothpaste that contains between 1,350 – 1,500ppm fluoride.
- Children between the ages of three and six should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Children below the age of three should use a smear of toothpaste.
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day: in the morning and in the evening.
- Spend approximately three minutes brushing your teeth to ensure that you remove plaque, food debris and bacteria effectively.
- Rinse your toothbrush before and after use.
- Ensure that you spend adequate and equal time cleaning all the surfaces of each tooth before moving on to the next.
- When you brush the upper part of your teeth close to the gumline, angle your toothbrush towards your gums.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use up and down brushing motions.
- Use a gentle brushing motion using short strokes instead of a forceful, scrubbing one.
- Use just enough pressure to feel the bristles against your teeth and gums. The bristles should not be squashed.
- Pay extra attention to hard-to-reach places, the gumline and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration work.
- Watch yourself brushing in the mirror to ensure that you don’t neglect any areas.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can cause bad breath.
- After brushing your teeth, use floss to clean in between the teeth and remove any food particles lodged there.