Do you like it when someone smiles and they have healthy, clean, white teeth? But it’s not like that for you and you’d rather not show your teeth off? You can find the basis of good dental care in your bathroom every day. Yes, it’s correct brushing of your teeth. And we can tell you how!
Brushing your teeth is not rocket science, but we’re still prone to making mistakes. “Clean your teeth twice a day, especially at night. Use a soft toothbrush with flat-trimmed bristles,” is the recommendation of Lucy Spiller and Stephanie Russell, dental hygienists from the Tooth & Gum clinic. It’s up to you whether you opt for a manual or electric toothbrush.
But how do you really brush your teeth well, not just swish the brush around your mouth a bit? “We teach people to use circular or vibrating movements at our clinic. Be sure to brush the entire surface of the tooth, ideally so that the brush head reaches the gum when you brush,” say our hygienists.
You’ve probably heard it too. Watching TV, getting stuff ready for the next day? Brush your teeth at the same time. But it’s not something your dentist or dental hygienist would approve of. “You might forget to brush everywhere or you won’t clean some parts as thoroughly. Swollen gums and tooth decay can come around fast, so you really need to concentrate when you’re brushing your teeth,” explains Lucy Spiller. If we can eat, sleep or go for a walk in the woods consciously and mindfully, we can also brush our teeth mindfully.
Is there another mistake we make with our dental care that causes problems with our teeth and brings about depressing dentist’s bills? “Unfortunately, we often hear the opinion that gingivitis and gum disease can be cured at home using products that are available to buy over the counter. It really doesn’t work that way,” explains the dental hygienist. If you’ve got bleeding gums, plaque, loose teeth or bad breath, book an appointment with a dentist or dental hygienist. As soon as possible.
Go to the dentist if you have exposed tooth root or sensitive teeth. There are several causes for this, including inflammatory processes. You won’t be able to fix it yourself at home.
Another common mistake is that people choose the size of their interdental brushes themselves, in good faith. “When you choose a brush for yourself, it may not be the size you actually need,” our specialist continues. “An interdental brush that is too small won’t clean the interdental space properly, too large and it may damage your gums or tooth enamel.” Choosing a suitable interdental aid is something you should get your dental hygienist or dentist to help you with.
“For crowded teeth, especially at the front of the mouth, we usually prefer dental floss. On the other hand, with interdental brushes, one size is rarely enough, so you often need several sizes,” explains Stephanie Russell. She herself tries to pick a maximum of three sizes for her clients so they don’t get discouraged.
“We believe that interdental brushing is a lot about using intuition, rather than having to give our clients an illustrated instruction manual showing where and how to use an interdental brush,” explains Russell. That’s why you should always try and use an interdental brush in such a way that it feels as if you’re cleaning the sides of your teeth with it. If it doesn’t feel like that, then the brush is too small.
So you’ve decided to start using interdental products regularly, like you promise every single time you leave the dentist? First, book an appointment with a dental hygienist. Effective home care can start as soon as your interdental spaces are clear of plaque and deposits that you can’t remove from your teeth yourself.
Perfect brushing of teeth, according to the experts, is always about the manual work, i.e. using a brush and interdental aids. Everything else can only make this process nicer. A water flosser can therefore be great for cleaning dental implants or as the final touch after cleaning the interdental spaces. But it does not replace basic brushing.
Mouthwash is like an oral deodorant. “It helps your mouth feel nice, and freshens up your breath. In some instances, the dentist may suggest mouthwash for faster healing, but in itself, it’s not that significant. You’re better off investing in basic brushing products such as toothbrushes and interdental aids,” Lucy Spiller recommends.
So now you know how to brush your teeth and interdental spaces correctly. Try making it part of your regular evening routine. Just a couple more minutes, and your teeth will thank you!