17 Dec Effective Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is all about keeping your mouth clean and free of diseases, along with other problems that can arise (e.g. bad breath) by regularly brushing your teeth and cleaning in between. It is important that it is carried out on a regular basis, first thing in the morning and last thing at night, to enable prevention of dental disease and bad breath.
What is the best toothbrush to use?
There are a variety of toothbrushes available to help improve your OHI. Electric toothbrushes are the preferred method of brushing as they have built in timers to help you brush for the full 2 minutes. They have heads that rotate, oscillate or pulsate which benefit you if you have limited movement or find it particularly difficult to clean your teeth. If using a manual toothbrush, make sure your brush is at gum level to remove any plaque at the margins. Hard and medium texture tooth brushes can cause gum recession therefore a soft bristle brush is advised. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if it is frayed.
What is the best toothpaste for me?
There are many different types of toothpaste; some are designed for gum health, sensitive teeth, smokers and anti-bacterial agents. It is important that you use fluoride based toothpaste to prevent tooth decay.
After brushing you should spit out and don’t rinse to prevent the fluoride being washed away. If your dentist feels you have a high risk of tooth decay, they can prescribe you toothpaste with more fluoride.
How should I be cleaning in between my teeth?
There are interdental brushes (also known as tepes) that can be used as a long or short handle for easier use and come in a variety of colours that are for different sized gaps. Your hygienist or dentist can help you how to use these products correctly and pick the right size for you.
There is also floss and tape to use in-between. Many prefer to use the tape as it is wider and can be gentler on the gums.
Some people with bridges and implants find water jets useful if they have difficulty using interdental brushes or floss.
Do I need to use mouthwash?
Mouthwash can be used to freshen breath and used as an antibacterial agent against gum disease or to aid healing after an extraction. It is not a replacement for brushing twice-daily and if used after brushing, wait at least 30 minutes as you will wash away the fluoride from your toothpaste.
If you would like more information or to book an appointment with our dental hygienists, contact your dentist in Mansfield on 01623 629359.