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How To Brush Your Teeth

2016 10 11
It may seem like a fairly simple question, but it’s one that a lot of people don’t know the answer to. How do I brush my teeth properly?

What is recommended when it comes to brushing your teeth? It’s vital to know, because brushing protects you against things like tooth decay and gum disease. So, let us shine a light on this topic for you….

How often should I brush my teeth?

You should brush your teeth twice a day, including last thing at night before you go to bed. (Source: NHS Choices). You may be given further guidance from your dentist, depending on your particular needs.

How long should I brush my teeth for?

According to the NHS (and they should know), you should brush for two minutes at a time. (Source: NHS Choices).

Should I use an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush?

It doesn’t matter which one you use, as long as you are thorough when brushing teeth. (Source: NHS Choices) Though using an electric toothbrush has been associated with an additional 21% of plaque removal over a three-month period when compared with manual toothbrush, by experts (Source: Cochrane Oral Health Group).

Manual toothbrushes can be just as effective, but people have a tendency to develop a ‘system’, and miss areas over time, according to the Cochrane Oral Health Group. It’s about finding a method that works for you. If you have opted for a manual brush, one with a small head with medium bristles should help you to reach those difficult corners.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush or brush head once every three months, or sooner if the bristles become damaged.

What’s the correct ‘technique’ for brushing my teeth?

It’s vital to ensure that you brush around the entire surface of all teeth. That means brushing on the inside, outside and towards the back of the mouth, as well as the chewing area of your teeth. (Source: NHS Choices).

For more help on this, you can check out the guidance in places like Wikihow, which includes short ‘How To’ videos.

What kind of toothpaste should I use?

Your toothpaste should contain the right amount of fluoride, as this is the active ingredient that helps to ensure healthy teeth and gums. NHS Choices suggests it must contain 1,350 parts per million of fluoride, but you may require a stronger concentration, if your dentist suggests it.

Should I wash my mouth afterwards?

You should not rinse your mouth after brushing, as this will dilute the preventative effects of the fluoride in your toothpaste.

Should I use mouthwash after brushing?

Again, using a liquid such as mouthwash after brushing will dilute the toothpaste on your teeth, and reduce its effectiveness.

It’s actually better to use mouthwash at a different time, such as after a meal, but to get the best results, you should avoid drinking or eating for half an hour.