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Are parents teaching their children the correct tooth brushing techniques?

by Evesham Dental, on 17th February 2017 | Comments Off on Are parents teaching their children the correct tooth brushing techniques?

Chances are you taught your children how to brush their teeth and your parents taught you. But our Evesham dentists ask: have you ever been shown how to brush your teeth by a professional? Could you be passing on bad habits to your children that they could pass onto theirs?

Evesham Dental Health Team is very keen to explain the gold standard in tooth brushing and we encourage our patients from across Worcester, Stratford, Bidford-on-Avon, Pershore and beyond to ask us for guidance.

The best advice is to brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. You should brush your teeth before you go to bed and before breakfast. Parents should help brush their child’s teeth until they are at least 8 years old and have developed good control of the brush.

We strongly advise that you monitor how long you brush for because it is difficult to guess how long two minutes is. Research suggests that people tend to underestimate, often stopping brushing at just under a minute and a half if they don’t have a timer. We sell fun sand timers costing just 60p. Another tip from our hygienists, is to brush to your favourite song on the radio (usually at least 2 minutes)!

Imagine your teeth are divided into four areas and spend 30 seconds brushing every surface of every tooth in that quadrant. Most electric toothbrushes now come with a timer and the best ones will beep every 30 seconds to let you know when to move on to the next quadrant of your mouth.

When using an electric toothbrush, don’t use it as you would a manual toothbrush. Hold it gently like a pen and place the bristles of your brush on the gum line with the bristles at a 45o angle to the gum. Using gentle pressure, hold the brush on 1-2 teeth keeping it still to let the brush do the work. Do this around your whole mouth, this will take about 2 minutes and, depending on which brush you are using, the brush may automatically turn off if it has an in-built timer.

The smaller heads are specially formulated to get right in between each tooth to ensure as much tooth as possible is cleaned. Research has found that electric toothbrushes are often better than manual for keeping our teeth healthy and at Evesham Dental Health Team in Broadway Road we recommend a Philips Sonicare.

Some other things to remember are:

  • Spit, don’t rinse after brushing, to boost the remineralising benefits of the toothpaste.
  • Change your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles start to splay as they harbour bacteria and are not cleaning effectively.
  • Avoid brushing after meals as many foods and drinks are acidic so the tooth enamel is microscopically softened and will be worn away.

Interdental bushes

Interdental brushes, such as TePe brushes are fantastic for cleaning in the gaps between our teeth. Ask your hygienist which size of brush she recommends for your mouth and if you have any doubts about technique, when or how often to use them, please ask at your appointment and we will be only too happy to help.

If you have any questions about brushing or would like a demonstration, please contact us to make an appointment.


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