Oral Hygiene Instruction from Appletree Dental Surgery

Toothbrushing

You should be brushing your teeth twice a day, when you first wake up and last thing before going to bed. The technique used is the same whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, studies have shown however that electric toothbrushes do clean better and they do approximately 80% of the work for you!

At Appletree Dental Surgery we recommend the modified bass method of toothbrushing. This involves brushing the white bits of your teeth that you can see and then rotating the brush  towards where the teeth meet your gums and gently brushing here. Occasionally you may find that your gums bleed when brushing, do not be alarmed, although this is one of the symptoms of gum disease, it can also happen due to a little inflammation in your gums caused by bacteria or food that wasn’t removed at the last time you brushed. The bleeding should resolve after a few days.

Interdental Brushing/ flossing

We recommend using interdental brushes once a day as part of your normal oral hygiene routine. If you know that you have a space which continually traps food then it would be better if you did this multiple times a day. Ideally you need the largest one that will fit in the space between your teeth without getting stuck. Some gaps may be too small for a tepe brush and then it would be good for you to use dental floss.

Interdental brushes are better than floss because teeth are not flat along the edges, they are slightly curved and an interdental brush cleans the whole surface whereas floss only touches a small area.

Your dentist or hygienist will be able to advise you on the best size for your mouth, it is normal for you to require 2 or 3 different sizes for use in different spaces.

Should I use Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is great when used correctly. We advise that if you would like to use mouthwash, to use it at a separate time to brushing, 1 hour after lunch for example. The theory behind this is because toothpaste contains fluoride which helps strengthen your teeth and when you brush and then spit the excess, it remains on your teeth to help strengthen them. If you use mouthwash then you are simply washing it off.

Which toothpaste should I use?

For most adults, any regular toothpaste available from the supermarket it fine as long as it contains 1450ppm of fluoride. This helps to strengthen your teeth. If you suffer with sensitive teeth then a sensodyne toothpaste or colgate pro-relief would be recommended.

Children under the age of 3years old require less fluoride in their toothpaste, they must use a toothpaste containing 1000ppm fluoride and most readily available children’s toothpastes do contain this. From 3 years old there is no need for them to have any different toothpaste to you.

Some patients are more prone to dental decay and in these cases they may be prescribed a toothpaste containing more fluoride as a preventative measure. This is prescription only by your dentist.

Occasionally, patient suffer from flare ups of the tissues inside their mouths or ulcers, these can be affected by the toothpaste you use and therefore unfortunately trial and error may be the only way to work out which is best for you. It would be in your best interests to try a toothpaste that does not contain Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS).

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