Oral hygiene practices - latest research

To halt the cycle of decay and gum disease in your mouth, you need to try one of these solutions

Disrupt the environment of the bacteria – agitate/hassle all surfaces of the tooth by tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing or interdental brushing.

Stop the food source - all problems guaranteed to be fixed in a few months.

Kill the bacteria- bacteria will recolonise the mouth a matter of minutes after an antibacterial mouth rinse, so this is ineffective. Do not routinely use mouth rinses.

Remove the teeth - very effective but a little extreme.

How often should I brush?

The quality of cleaning is more important than frequency, that said, using a manual toothbrush routinely reduces plaque by only 30 - 60% so brushing twice a day and flossing/interdental brushing once a day is still a good insurance against decay or gum disease.

If there are areas you routinely miss or are difficult to reach, start brushing there first.

Should I use a manual toothbrush or electric (powered) toothbrush?

If you have excellent technique and your gum scores are always zero, then it doesn’t matter what sort of brush you use. Otherwise a powered toothbrush is more effective. It is best if it has a rotating oscillating head like the Braun Oral B. Children may enjoy a brush which is musical and plays for the optimal 2 minutes.

Professional cleaning by a hygienist using a dental handpiece for 10 minutes results in a reduction in plaque of 95%. If the hygienist used your powered oscillating toothbrush on your teeth for 10 minutes the reduction in plaque is 99%. Think about that!

How long should I brush for?

The optimal time for tooth brushing is 2 minutes which is 30 seconds per quadrant of the mouth. With a powered tooth brush you are more likely to brush closer to the recommended time.

How often should I replace my toothbrush? Is it worn out or just worn in?

Recent research has shown that a worn scruffy toothbrush is just as effective as a new toothbrush. A brand new tooth brush is not more effective at removing plaque than one that is 3 months old, so you can keep your toothbrush until it drives your partner nuts, goes mouldy or you want a change of colour.

How do I brush my teeth with a powered tooth brush?

Using a rocking motion, work your way around the contours of each tooth before moving onto the next one. Do both the tongue side and cheek side of the teeth.

Does it have to be floss to clean between teeth?

No, you can use either floss or interdental brushes to clean between the teeth. Interdental brushes can be easier to use for some and are better in big spaces. Tooth picks or irrigating devices are not as effective.

Only clean the teeth that you want to keep, we can arrange to

remove the unloved ones to make your job easier.


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