In order to maintain healthy teeth and gums, a regime of brushing twice a day should be combined with interdental brushing or cleaning between the teeth with floss.
This will ensure that your teeth are kept throughout your life.
The importance of brushing
The cause of gum disease is plaque, this is a natural production in the mouth during the day. Whilst brushing controls plaque formation around the surfaces of your teeth, it does not reach between your teeth and that is why interdental brushing once a day is so crucial. It has been estimated that brushing alone only cleans 65% of the tooth surface.
One of the commonest indications of gingivitis is bleeding gums. We get asked every day by patients as to why their gums bleed.
- Don’t ignore it.
- Don’t stop brushing because they bleed – gums will not get better by leaving the plaque around the teeth.
- Use an electric tooth brush (ideally) for a minimum of 2 minutes twice a day.
- Use floss or interdental brushes at least once a day.
There are two types of toothbrushes – electric / battery powered and manual.
ELECTRIC toothbrushes are either an oscillating / rotary type or a vibration type. They allow better access to difficult to reach teeth and areas of the mouth. People who brush too hard can benefit since the action is stopped with too much pressure. Many have a two minute timer.
There are new brushes available which tell you whether you are brushing too hard, too soft and where you are missing!
MANUAL toothbrushes should be of a medium texture with a medium sized head. The brush should be held at 45 degree angle where the gum and tooth meet, using small circular motions for effective plaque removal and to minimise tooth wear through over brushing.
Whichever brush you are using you should always brush for two minutes, twice daily and change your toothbrush head every 3 months. Electric brushes often do not look worn so it is important to stick to these guidelines. If you have an electric toothbrush you can subscribe on Amazon so that they will send you a new head every three months.