The fundamentals of cleaning your teeth

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Everyone knows how to clean their teeth – right? Or do they?

Brushing teeth for most people is an automatic habit they have been doing since they were children, but there is more to it that putting the toothbrush in the mouth and moving it around. The technique you use can actually enhance your teeth cleaning experience and give better oral health. We know that old habits die hard, so read on to see how you should be cleaning your teeth.

Best Practice – Top Tips

The first thing to note is the angle at which the toothbrush should be inside your mouth. Dentists recommend that the toothbrush is positioned at a 45o angle to your gums to get the best results.


The temptation among a lot of people is to brush the teeth vigorously as many think that this cleans more effectively and removes more plaque. Brushing the teeth in this way can actually harm the teeth and damage the enamel. Teeth should be brushed using small soft strokes which target individual teeth or areas of the mouth.


Many people brush only what they can see or what they can reach, but the mouth and teeth cover a much greater area than this. The outer and inner parts of the teeth should all be addressed, aswell as the upper, lower and centre sections. Cleaning the very rear of the mouth can be extremely important as decay is more likely to congregate, because people simply miss these areas as they hard to reach. You may need to open your mouth really wide to properly access these parts.


Cleaning your teeth alone is not enough as the brush finds it difficult to reach the spaces in between. This is why dentists recommend flossing and using a mouthwash to both complement and complete your teeth cleaning routine.


The accepted practice is to brush your teeth by abiding by the 2 / 2 rule – twice a day for 2 minutes at a time. Anything shorter than this is normally insufficient. We all know there can be too much of a good thing and over brushing is likely to do more harm than good.  Try and schedule your teeth brushing at strategic times – this can often help maximise the effectiveness.


Remember the tongue! Many people clean the teeth and often forget about the tongue which can harbour bacteria and can lead to bad breath. Next time you clean your teeth, clean your tongue aswell. Feel how much fresher your whole mouth feels after doing this! Many toothbrushes have tongue cleaners attached to the back of the heads making this job even easier.


All equipment that carries out vital works needs servicing or replacing regularly and toothbrushes are no exception. Dentists recommend that you change your toothbrush every 3 months to keep the head in pristine condition and to allow it to be able to reach all parts of the mouth and clean properly. Ever noticed that after a while of use, toothbrush bristles tend to go flat and spread out? The result is that this isn’t cleaning your teeth as effectively.


Do you follow all these top tips and if not which can you now implement?


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