You know how to brush your teeth, but lockdown gives us the opportunity to reassess technique. While dental practices remain in lockdown it is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene to ward off day to day emergencies. It has been widely reported that teeth brushing can kill bacteria in the mouth, and can play a part in helping to prevent the spread of viruses.
Mayur N Pandya, Dentist and Chief Clinical Officer of Together Dental said; “Increased and improved regular brushing of teeth during lockdown is positive for everybody. We already know that maintaining healthy teeth, mouth and gums helps avoid future dental treatments. Creating positive habits can also help maintain a more positive mind-set.”
The top 5 things to remember when brushing your teeth are;
1 Use a good fluoride toothpaste
You need a pea-sized amount of good fluoride toothpaste. Adults should use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,450 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. At night time, try not to rinse after brushing, so that you leave a reservoir of fluoride which will help to remineralise tooth enamel and prevent cavities. During the day, after meals, use an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash to keep your enamel strong.
2 45 degrees
Place the head of your toothbrush against your lower teeth, and then tilt the bristles to a 45 degree angle against the gum line. Try and keep the angle throughout the brush as it gives it better leverage to remove plaque and germs.
3 Small circular movements
Move the brush in small circular movements several times over the surfaces of every tooth. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth first, and then go in and do the occlusal surface (inside) in nice circular motions all the way around. Move up to the upper set of teeth and repeat the small circular movements on the outside teeth first, keeping the bristles angled against the gum line. To clean inside the surfaces of the front teeth tip the toothbrush vertically and make several small strokes up and down with the front part of the brush.
4 Brush your tongue
The tongue carries both good and bad bacteria, but its close proximity to the back of your throat means that it can potentially harbour viruses present in that area. Brushing your tongue helps to freshen breath and clean your mouth of any bacteria. Stick your tongue out and make several long strokes across your tongue to give it a good clean.
5 An extra brush
We recommend in normal times brushing twice a day with a floss in between. However, during lockdown, or when you are about to go out shopping or exercising, we recommend adding in an extra brush to maintain a healthy mouth and reduce the risk of spreading germs to other people.
It doesn’t matter whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, they are both equally as good, as long as you brush ALL the surfaces of ALL of your teeth and gently angle the bristles towards the gumline. That said, electric toothbrushes do take the effort out of brushing, allowing you to focus on your technique.