Most people know how to brush their teeth – but did you know there’s an art to getting them thoroughly clean? In this guide we’ll take you through the basics and explain how you can perfect your technique and keep your teeth cleaner and healthier.
Tooth brushing basics
When is the best time to brush your teeth? At least twice a day, after breakfast and before you go to bed. You can also brush your teeth after lunch or other meals. Just remember to wait for at least 30 minutes after you’ve consumed acidic food and drinks, such as citrus fruit, wine or fruit juices. If you brush too soon, while acids are still potentially attacking your tooth enamel, you risk damaging it in its vulnerable state. We know it’s not always possible to wait that long, so a little trick : rinse your mouth 2 times with water and it will mitigate the effect of the acids.
What with? Either a manual or electric toothbrush. Make sure the brush head fits in your mouth comfortably and reaches all areas.
For how long? At least two minutes, though many dentists recommend taking three minutes to brush teeth, particularly if you’re using a manual toothbrush.
Refine your technique
Even if you think you know how to brush your teeth properly, you may find there’s room for improvement:
Brushing with a manual toothbrush
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums
- Move the brush back and forth gently in short strokes
- Use the brush tip to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth with up and down strokes
- Brush your tongue gently to remove bacteria and keep breath fresh.
Brushing with an electric toothbrush
Some people prefer using an electric toothbrush, and they can be a good option for children who don’t usually like brushing their teeth. However, using a manual toothbrush for kids is always a good way for them to learn how to brush properly from a young age.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and turn it on
- Move the toothbrush gently from tooth to tooth, remembering to cover each surface
- Brush your tongue gently, just as you would a manual toothbrush.
Remember to floss
Even the best tooth brushing technique won’t clean those areas right between your teeth. That’s why flossing is so important. Floss at least once a day to get rid of trapped food and plaque build-up. Here’s how:
- Wrap the ends of a length of floss around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving an inch or two to work with
- Guide the floss between your teeth, making sure to clean beneath the gum line with a gentle rubbing motion
Rinse for extra freshness
Follow these simple steps to optimal tooth brushing and it will leave your teeth and gums cleaner, fresher and healthier. And remember to turn off the tap when you brush – you could save up to 6 litres of water each time.