Heath Beacon

Oral care

Oral Hygiene Care

Tooth cleaning

It is important to take care of your oral hygiene care daily.

Plaque buildup can be prevented with tooth brushing. Plaque is a coating of bacteria that builds up on your teeth when you don’t brush properly. It can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities.

When is it best to brush my teeth daily?

Brush your teeth twice daily: once in the morning, before breakfast, and once at night, before you go to sleep.

Do not perform oral hygiene care right after eating. This can cause damage to your teeth, especially if your mouth has been exposed to acid from wine, fruit, soft drinks or other foods.

This is because the acid softens tooth enamel and can be easily removed by brushing. You should wait for your saliva to neutralise acid by brushing your teeth an hour after you have eaten.

Which toothbrush should I use?

It doesn’t really matter if you have an electric or manual toothbrush. As long as you use them correctly, they’re both equally effective. Some people find it easier, however, to brush their teeth with an electric toothbrush.

What should I look for when buying a toothbrush?

A small toothbrush is best for adults. It should have a compact head with an angled arrangement of round-end and long bristles. Most people prefer soft or medium bristles. Use an electric toothbrush that has an oscillating, rotating or rotary head. If in doubt, ask your dentist.

What toothpaste should you use?

To keep your teeth clean and healthy, the toothpaste’s cleaning particles and agents help to remove plaque. Fluoride toothpaste is the best way to get fluoride and fight tooth decay.

The Australian Dental Association advises that babies and toddlers aged 18 months and older should not use toothpaste. Children 18 months and under should only use low-fluoride formulas. This is to prevent fluorosis caused by too much fluoride.

How to brush your tooth

Instead of just moving toothpaste around your mouth you should ensure that you get rid of as much food debris and plaque as possible.

Use a pea-sized amount toothpaste and gently rotate the toothbrush around the teeth’ outside and inner surfaces. Use a light back and forth motion on the chewing surfaces.

To keep your mouth and teeth healthy, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes. Spend 30 seconds cleaning each quarter of the mouth.

An easy tip is to think of a tooth’s five surfaces. The top, front, and back surfaces all require brushing. Flossing addresses the hidden surfaces between the teeth.

  • Your toothbrush should be held against your teeth. The bristle tips of the toothbrush should be angled at 45 degrees towards your gum line. The brush should be used in small circular motions to reach all surfaces.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, both upper and lower, of each tooth. Make sure the bristles are angled towards the gum line.
  • You can use the same technique on the inside of all your teeth.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
  • To clean the inside of the front teeth’s surfaces, tilt the toothbrush vertically and make small circular strokes with your toe (the front portion) of the bristle.
  • Brushing your teeth will make your breath freshen and your mouth clean by eliminating bacteria.
  • After brushing, rinse the toothpaste out with water. Keep some toothpaste on your teeth for extra protection.

How to floss

Flossing does more than just remove food stuck between teeth. Regular flossing can reduce bad breath and gum disease by removing plaque along the gum line.

  • You can wrap about 45cm floss around your middle fingers. Then, place it across your thumbs.
  • To avoid causing gum trauma, insert the floss gently side-to-side.
  • To clean the “neck”, which is where the tooth meets the gums (or the place at which it touches the gums), curl the floss and gently insert it underneath the gum.
  • Interdental brushes can be used instead of flossing, especially when your teeth are close together or if it is difficult to floss in the space.
To avoid causing gum trauma, insert the floss gently side-to-side.

Do not use toothpicks for food trapped between your teeth. You could inadvertently cause bleeding and infection.

What should I do about my mouth?

Yes, after brushing your teeth, you can use toothpaste to get rid of any bacteria or food leftovers.

Mouthwashes that contain alcohol are not recommended for children as they could accidentally swallow them. Due to the drying effects of alcohol, a mouthwash that contains alcohol can cause dryness and crackling in the lips. An alcohol-free version can prevent this.

Are plaque-disclosing tablets helpful?

Plaque-disclosing tablets are used to color plaque red or blue and can be very helpful in showing which areas of your mouth need to be cleaned.

Because staining can cause lasting damage, you should not use these tablets at night or with visitors.

Oral hygiene care