How to care for your teeth

How to care for your teeth
Cleaning Techniques

A good oral cleaning program includes daily flossing and twice-daily brushing. You may already be doing this but are you doing it properly? Poor techniques can damage your gums or leave areas of your mouth vulnerable to decay. A thorough brushing job should take you about three minutes. Flossing is needed to clean between your teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach.
Brushing tips
  • Position the bristles at a 45-degree angle to your gums and brush the surface of each tooth in small circular movements

  • Plaque and bacteria often collect where your gums meet your teeth so remember to concentrate on this area

  • Methodically brush the back and front of each tooth, then vigorously brush the chewing surfaces

  • Gently but firmly brush your gums to help prevent or treat gum disease

  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and help to keep your breath fresh

  • Use a mirror so you can see what you are doing

Flossing tips
  • Firmly wrap a piece of floss around the index finger of both hands until about 3cm of taut floss remains

  • Systematically floss between each tooth with a gentle motion, wrapping the floss around the teeth being careful not to snap it into your gums

  • When you use floss after not doing so for an extended period, your gums may bleed for the first week. This is a natural process that will stop when you have broken up the plaque. If it continues, see your dentist.

When choosing from the wide array of toothpastes on the market, the most important consideration is ensuring they contain fluoride. Some specialist toothpastes include ingredients to fight gum disease, reduce plaque build-up and remove stains. Use no more than a pea shaped portion on your toothbrush and only a tiny scraping for children.

Information taken from the Sunbeam Healthy Teeth Handbook