What is the best way to brush my teeth?
The best way to brush your teeth is to hold the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees, with the bristles aimed at your gum line. The tiny area between the teeth and the gum is a great spot for bacteria and plaque to accumulate, so it is important to brush this area well.
When the brush is at the correct angle, it’s just a gentle little jiggle back and forth, brushing only one or two teeth at a time. There is a fine line between brushing too hard and not brushing hard enough.
The aim of brushing is for the bristles to penetrate the gap between the teeth to remove the soft plaque and prevent its build-up.
Brushing requires a system. Brush all the teeth in order, brushing inside and outside. You will find it easier if you can see what you are doing – brush your teeth in front of a mirror.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Always use the right brushing technique; using poor brushing techniques can damage the teeth and gums
How should I floss my teeth?
Flossing has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of gum disease.
You would ideally floss your teeth every day; if possible, before you brush your teeth. If you eat out, take some floss with you, take a trip to the bathroom, and clean the gap between your teeth where bacteria grow and plaque builds.
The key to flossing is in the way you hold the floss. Take a decent length and wrap the floss tightly around the middle finger of each hand; it should be locked onto each finger. Use a gentle sawing motion against the side of each tooth, moving the floss backward and forward. If this is tricky for you, talk to your dentist and get him to give you a practical demonstration. Your dentist will suggest the best oral hygiene methods for you, and will show you how to use them.
Some companies make small flossing aids.
There are times when your gums may bleed or become sore after brushing and flossing. This is not a cause for panic because sometimes we may brush a little too hard and push the gum down slightly; or, if we haven’t used floss on a regular basis, your gums may become inflamed and will bleed more easily.
If the bleeding persists, see your dentist.
How do I choose a toothbrush and toothpaste?
A toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles is usually best, and an electric toothbrush is especially good if you find a proper brushing technique is difficult to get a handle on.
Select a toothpaste that contains fluoride which will combine with minerals in your saliva to toughen your tooth enamel and help prevent decay.