Often taken for granted, the monotonous task of regular brushing and flossing has never been more important in avoiding gum disease and the risks it can place on our overall health. Gum disease is linked to many serious health complications, but can be avoided with good home care and regular dental visits.
- Start with the upper left molars (back teeth), concentrating on the surface of the tooth that rests against your cheek – you will be working in a clockwise direction from there. The average toothbrush head will cover 2-3 teeth at a time.
- Hold the toothbrush parallel to your teeth, and point the bristles in the direction of the gum at a 45° angle, so they are resting slightly below the gum line. Apply light pressure to the bristles, so they are slightly bent.
- Gently move the brush in a circular motion for approximately 20 brush strokes, or roughly 10 seconds. The bristles should only gently touch the gums when brushing. When brush strokes are complete, roll the bristles away from the gum tissue in a sweeping motion.
- Continue the above steps until all the front surfaces of the top and bottom teeth have been cleaned.
- Moving on to the inside surfaces of the teeth, repeat steps 2-5 for the upper and lower premolars and molars.
- When you are ready to clean the inside surface of the front teeth, take the tip of the toothbrush, and in a flicking or rolling motion, direct the toothbrush from the gum line out of the mouth. Do this 2-3 times. And try not to spray the mirror!
- Follow step 8 for the inside of the lower front teeth, but this time the flick will be directed up and away from the gum line. Do this 2-3 times.
- Brush the biting surface of the upper and lower premolars and molars in a back and forth motion.
- Gently brush your tongue and the inside of your cheeks.
- Finish by rinsing with water. However, if you find you often require fillings, then you may be advised not to rinse. This leaves the fluoride on your teeth, maximising its potential to fight decay.
If you are concerned about the side effects of fluoride in your toothpaste, please talk to one of our practitioners.