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Brushing For Cleaner Teeth & Healthier Gums

Tooth Brushing Techniques for teeth using a Hand brush or an Electric Toothbrush with Flossing too!

Efficient tooth brushing and flossing together are essential if we are to clean our teeth from food and the sticky plaque bacteria, that leads to tooth decay and gum diseases. Most people have not been taught how to use a toothbrush properly! Indeed, most people are still using their own methods learnt as a child!

Read below to learn how you can brush your teeth WITHOUT causing damage or missing vital areas to clean. It's never too late to improve your toothbrushing (and gum brushing gently) and flossing techniques !!!

Sometimes teeth are tight together or crowded that additional Flossing between teeth is needed to prevent decay/gum diseases too. There are also some good food tips at the end when you cannot avoid lots of sugar attacks on a particular day/event!

A handheld toothbrush can be just as good as an Electric Tooth Brush if used well, but for most, an Electric Tooth Brush is quicker, reaches difficult areas at the back of the mouth easier and polishes teeth better too.

ToothBrushing Technique touches gums too


Proper tooth brushing involves four things:

1. A soft-medium toothbrush with a smaller sized head Copied from © 2000-2010 Smile Specialist® & Tony©
2. Toothpaste with fluoride (pea-sized amount only!)
3. The correct brushing angle bristles aimed up/down at gums
4. Brushing in a regular pattern, gentle vibration, NOT scrubbing

It's important to brush two or three times a day using a softer toothbrush. The flexible bristles of a soft toothbrush are gentler on the gums, and make it much easier to remove the plaque below the gum line, where periodontal (gum) disease starts and the bacteria in plaque hide.ied from © 2000-2010 Smile Specialist® &

Fluoride hardens the outer enamel layer of the teeth, so use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, because it can stop a cavity in its tracks and give you more protection against future cavities.

Angle the bristles of the toothbrush along the gumline at a 45-degree angle and move back and forth in short strokes, cleaning two teeth at a time - again NO scrubbing or Sawing sideways or up and down, you clean a couple of teeth first for 5 seconds, then the next couple of teeth and so one. This is both gentle AND efficiently cleans, but without wearing or damaging the gums and teeth!

If you have to scrub out of bad habit, then go scrub the toilet or your floors, but NOT your teeth and soft gums, otherwise you could cause gums recession and even wear grooves into your teeth, which when we are trying to preserve teeth & gums, would be a little ironic, wouldn't it?

Get a new routine going, perhaps starting top left or top right, work your way around the outsides of the upper teeth, then the insides of the upper teeth, then the biting surfaces - do the same system for the lower teeth and then for good measure, brush the back teeth again because most people clean the back teeth worse than the front ones!



Electric tooth brushing techniques:


Please remember that there is ALWAYS a balance between cleaning enough to remove plaque bacteria, but not over cleaning and wearing the gums away - this is especially important when you use a more powerful Electric Toothbrush!

Electric toothbrushes Clean well, but careful not to wear away the gums!



Using an Electric toothbrush is a different technique, usually just brushing ONE tooth at a time, pressing it "on and off" 3 times whilst it is rotating/vibrating, then going to the next tooth etc - this may sound laborious, but actually dabbing it on/off 3 times then moving on, prevents too much wear/scrubbing and messages/polishes the teeth just right. Of course one still has to do all the outsides, then insides, then biting surfaces of the teeth, so having a system of doing the upper insides first, then the flowers, is still required.



PROBLEMS saw with bad ToothBrushing Techniques!

Generally, people continue with the brushing pattern that they taught themselves in childhood. Often, this means it isn't as good as it could be, or even teeth are brushed too hard in some areas, actually causing abrasion groove cavities and sensitivity!

Changing old habits (Dental or otherwise) is never easy, but if a big change is made (such as swapping to an electric toothbrush), then one can achieve the benefits of those changes easier.

Now if you are feeling like getting a gold star at your Dentist for the cleanest teeth ever, you could also try Flossing once a day too, usually at night before bedtime, to reach the bacteria and plaque that forms between teeth that are tight together, or even using stiffer-floss like "Super-Floss" to reach under bridges or dental work that is splinted together. Other forms of floss, apart from saying 50metres on a reel to hold between fingers, are floss holders such as Oral B "flossettes", where the floss is already stretched out for ease of use between back teeth too. Click on our Flossing Information page link to find out more.


FOOD and DRINK TIPS to reduce SUGAR ATTACK damage and Decay!


Last but not least, remember that whilst daily brushing and flossing bacteria and plaque away that cause cavities and gum diseases is important, our diets contribute greatly to bacteria and plaque growth, so reducing the FREQUENCY of sugars (hidden and obvious) in what we eat and drink, is very important too.

If you are peckish between meals, consider fruit as a good substitute to biscuits, chocolates or other sugary snacks between meals, which will also help your general health and contribute to your 5-a-day healthy options too.

Choose Fruit for in-between meal snacks = healthier choice!

Additionally, if you can, don't have sugar in Tea and Coffee, use sweeteners or drink diet or sugar -free or low-sugar drinks and again don't snack between meals on biscuits, chocolates, cakes or other high sugar, sticky foods that stay on your teeth, rotting them all day !!! Saving sweet things for after a normal meal (as the pudding) is the safest strategy if you really can't give up your sweet treats. Having sweet things just after ordinary meal works because the ordinary food is coating your teeth, making it harder for stick sugary foods to stick onto your teeth for a long time, thus doing damage for a long time. Snacks between meals can then be fruits (very low sugar and not sticky) or vegetables or chewing gum or even savoury snacks like nuts and crisps, but watch the calories and the salt so this isn't excessive too.Copied from © 2000-2010 Smile Specialist® & Tony©

Cheese and Dairy Products can neutralise sugar tooth attacks!


If you know you are going to have a day with lots of sugar attacks in it (Christmas, Wedding, Birthday, other party/festival etc.) then a Hot-Tip is to have a piece of cheese BEFORE any sugar attacks - even a small cube on a stick, chewed up into many pieces and spread around the teeth, will protect the teeth quite well from sugar attacks and stop sweet foods sticking to the teeth, so it all gets swallowed - this is useful to know for Adults and Children and I always insist my kids eat some cheese first when at any parties etc - they don't mind one bit doing this and cheese comes in many types and presentations, including cheese strings for kids !! This is NOT instead of the usual diet and oral hygiene brushing advice, but just an extra strategy that is realistic and practical for those occasions when one simply cannot easily avoid a high number of sugar attacks on one's teeth.

DISCLOSING TABLETS to check PLAQUE removal done well:

Last but not least, you can check your Tooth Brushing efficiency by using Disclosing Tablets = a vegetable dye that stains hard-to-see tooth-coloured plaque blue/purple. These can be purchased at any major chemist/pharmacist and are chewed up well AFTER toothbrushing, to see if any areas missed without realising it. This then alerts you where you could be cleaning away the sticky bacterial plaque better and thus prevent future problems, see pictures below:

Clockwise pictures show missed bacterial plaque to brush away

After chewing up the disclosing tablet and licking it all over the teeth (you can buy these from most Chemists/Pharmacies), the darker shades reveal where you have missed the older bacterial plaque regularly - this is often at the gum-line or between teeth, so you can then brush it off and spend longer brushing/flossing these areas as needed every time, checking yourself the next evening to make sure you are doing it better. Remember though that these vegetable dyes still stain lips and tongue for several hours before wearing away naturally, so best do before bedtime unless it's Halloween of course!

At the SmileSpecialist® Centre, we hope you find the above information about Toothbrushing helpful and remember, good mouth hygiene prevents problems, makes any dental work you have had done last longer and helps you to have fresh breath too. Please click on other information Tabs above to learn even more, or just click-a-link here for Specialist or Advanced aspects of Cosmetic DentistryTooth VeneersTooth WhiteningDental Tooth Implants and smaller Mini-ImplantsDental Ceramic CrownsGum Diseases and Bad BreathRoot Canal treatments or Dental CPD Courses, are just some of the subjects you can learn more about here on our award winning dental website www.smilespecialist.co.uk.

*Dr.Kilcoyne is a UK registered Specialist in Prosthodontics (GDC No.58373) which includes The Functional and Cosmetic Dentistry aspects of Crowns, Dental Implants, Bridges, Veneers, Fillings, Dentures, Bonding etc. Please go to our MAKE an APPOINTMENT page if you'd like to access his Expertise.