How often should we brush our teeth everyday?
We should brush our teeth at least twice a day, and floss our teeth daily. If you do so, a six monthly dental check up would be sufficient.
What type of toothpaste and tooth brush should I use?
For children below the age of 6, a low fluoride toothpaste (500ppm) is recommended until they no longer swallow the toothpaste. A pea-sized amount will do. For children above the age of 6, a fluoride toothpaste (1000 ppm) is advisable. For adults, a high fluoride containing toothpaste (about 1500ppm) is advisable. A sensitive toothpaste may also be used if you have sensitivitiy. Any soft toothbrush with a small head to help you access hard to reach areas is acceptable.
How do I brush and floss?
I advise using the Modified Bass Technique to brush your teeth. The toothbrush should be held so the bristles are 45 degrees to the tooth surfaces, and gently jiggled against the tooth surface so some of the bristles clean under the gums. You should feel your gums being gently massaged. You then move on to the next group of teeth and continue. A little bit of bleeding may be expected using this technique; this is normal, as long as there is no pain. It just means that you may have gum disease, and using this technique will help you control the gum disease. Floss should be held between your thumbs and index fingers and gently slid between the teeth. You should “hug” each tooth surface with the floss and gently bring it beneath the gums, and glide it up and down 3 times.
Which toothbrush is good and how often it should be changed?
Any soft bristled toothbrush with a small head to help you access hard to reach areas is acceptable. The toothbrush should be changed when the bristles begin to splay out and lose their shape.
Should we floss first or brush first?
Flossing should always be done before brushing. The reason is simple: to clear away the plaque between the teeth before brushing, so that when we brush, the flouride toothpaste will be brushed in between the teeth to work interdentally as well.
Are mouth rinses useful?
Mouth rinses can be a useful adjunct. Two types of mouth rinses exist, pre-brush rinses to loosen plaque, and post-brush rinses. In general, post-brush fluoride mouth rinses are suitable for most people. Mouth rinses do not replacing brushing and flossing, though!
What if I’m too lazy to floss?
Flossing is the best and simplest way for cleaning between your teeth! However, alternatives such as dental picks and interdental brushes do exist. Also, water irrigation jets, such as the WaterPik and Phillips AirFloss can also be used to clean interdentally.