Regularly brushing your teeth is something that has been instilled in us since we were children. Brushing them in the morning and evening is a part of our daily routines, and keeping your teeth clean goes a long way toward keeping them healthy and strong.
There’s so much guidance on how to look after our teeth that it can be confusing to know how you should practice good oral hygiene.
Did you know the frequency, type of brush and toothpaste all play a part in keeping your smile in tip-top condition?
We’ve put together some simple guidelines for you to follow in looking after your teeth, as well as answering some other dental hygiene FAQs. If you follow the below advice, you can rest assured in the knowledge that your teeth will be free of plaque and that you’ve done your best to prevent cavities and tooth decay!
Let’s jump in.
The best way to clean your teeth
We’ve all been taught different methods for the best way to clean our teeth, but some of these might not be enough! Of course, the best place to start is your regular brushing routine. If you don’t already, you should make sure that you’re cleaning your teeth at least twice a day.
This is because the brushing motion of a toothbrush removes particles of food from your teeth, preventing the buildup of plaque. Plaque is a pesky dental problem that can cause tooth decay and gum disease when left untreated. Both of which are painful and expensive problems to fix.
Here’s the best way to properly clean your teeth at home.
How often should I clean my teeth?
Most dentists advise that you should brush your teeth two to three times every day. The NHS also states that you should be brushing them for at least two minutes. So ask yourself, do you actually clean your teeth for that long, every single time you brush?
If the answer is no, or you’re unsure, then it’s likely that you’re not doing enough to keep your teeth in good condition. To help you out, you can use some apps such as the NHS’ Brush DJ app, which plays two minutes of your music, so you brush your teeth for the right amount of time. Or, you can look to use an electric toothbrush with a built-in time tracker that beeps or vibrates when the full two minutes are up.
It’s also important that your toothbrush touches every part and surface of your teeth, as well as your tongue. Places where your brush doesn’t touch, such as those hard-to-reach corners, will be where food particles begin to build up and cause you problems.
Are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones?
The age-old question that many patients ask their dentists is, ‘are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones?’
While electric toothbrushes have many benefits and are designed to remove food buildup more effectively, the type of brush you choose doesn’t matter. As long as you have a good brushing technique, either should do enough to clean your teeth properly. If you prefer to use a manual brush, it just means you’ll have to do more work to ensure you really get in between your teeth and those hard to reach areas.
Whether you choose an electric or manual toothbrush, make sure that you pick a soft-bristled brush that comfortably fits the size and shape of your mouth. Remember to replace it every few months.
Why should you floss?
Both flossing and using mouthwash can be great ways to help keep your teeth even cleaner, as well as helping to prevent disease and further plaque builds up.
Flossing once a day is beneficial as it will remove any remaining food and bacteria from in between your teeth. It also reduces the risk of gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque that forms along your gum line.
Do dentists recommend mouthwash?
As for mouthwash, using a type that contains fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. You can even get special mouthwashes that help tackle gum disease.
However, it’s important to remember you should not use it straight after brushing your teeth. This is because it can wash away the protective fluoride you get from the toothpaste you use when brushing.
Why is it important to brush your teeth every day?
Besides ensuring you keep your teeth looking bright, white and healthy, brushing them every day is vital in preventing some nasty consequences of plaque. We all need food and drink to survive, but some dietary and lifestyle choices can impact the health of our teeth, especially if you don’t clean your teeth often enough.
If you consume a lot of sugary drinks, snack a lot, smoke, or suffer from a health condition, then it’s likely that you’re already at a higher risk of developing cavities, gum disease and/or tooth decay.
Consequences of not cleaning your teeth
If you don’t regularly brush your teeth or clean them properly, you could end up suffering from one of the following consequences.
If plaque is allowed to build up on your teeth, the sugars from your food can turn to acid and cause your tooth to decay. This can cause further problems such as holes in your teeth (dental caries), and in worse situations, dental abscesses!
Tooth decay symptoms include:
- Toothache *(Link to the previous blog)
- Tooth sensitivity
- Black or grey spots appearing on your teeth
- Bad breath*(Link to the previous blog)
- A nasty taste in your mouth
Gum disease, or gingivitis, is a condition where your gums become swollen, sore or infected. Gum disease can cause your gums to bleed when you brush your teeth and even give you bad breath. It’s caused by a build-up of plaque when you don’t remove it from your teeth by brushing them. This is why it’s vital to clean your teeth regularly.
How else can I make my teeth and gums stronger?
Seeing a dental hygienist is another way to help keep your teeth perfectly clean. Although we all do our best with regular brushing and flossing, professional teeth cleaning treatments remove the plaque we can’t get to.
Visiting a dental hygienist will reduce your chance of getting tooth cavities or gum disease by significantly reducing the amount of plaque on your teeth and in your mouth.
When you book your regular checkup, make sure you add a full dental clean to the list so that you can keep your teeth plaque-free. If you are at higher risk of getting dental cavities or gum disease, you should get your teeth cleaned more often.
Portway Dental are the leading private dental clinic in Manchester
As well as looking after your dental hygiene in your own time, it’s essential to get them checked over by a dentist regularly. Not only does this help them to keep clean, but it means you can keep on top of any threats, such as cavities and a buildup of plaque.
For over 50 years, Portway Dental has been providing expert dental care to the local communities of Wythenshawe, Altrincham, Hale, Heald Green and Timperley. Our mission is to provide the highest standards of dental care to all of our patients.
Get in touch today to arrange a check-up with one of our dentists! We will be happy to help you, whatever your inquiry.