Keeping Your Mouth and Teeth Healthy
Plaque is a film of bacteria that coats your teeth daily. If it is not removed, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Toothbrushing and cleaning in between your teeth stops this build up of bacteria.
So what’s the best way to do this? At Smile Care Dental Clinic we advise our patients to do the following, of our key messages being ‘Spit don’t Rinse’:
- Brush before bed and at one other time during the day.
- Spend a minimum of 2 minutes brushing your teeth. You could use a timer if you have a manual toothbrush, most electric toothbrushes have a 2 minute timer.
- Place a pea size amount of toothpaste onto your toothbrush.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards the gums.
- Use a gentle circular motion and brush your front teeth, and the sides of the back teeth for the top and bottom teeth, make sure you brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth too.
- Flip the toothbrush upwards and repeat for the upper teeth.
- Spit the toothpaste out.
- DON’T RINSE OUT WITH ANY WATER.
- Do NOT use mouthwash after brushing as this washes the toothpaste away. If you like to use mouthwash use at a different time to brushing, ideally after a meal.
Which Toothpaste Should I Use?
It is important to use toothpaste that contains the right amount of fluoride. The packaging will state the concentration of fluoride in parts per million (ppm). The general guidance is:
- Adults to use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm.
- Children can use the family toothpaste as long as it contains between 1300pmm-1500ppm, children under the age of 6 can use a lower strength toothpaste which contains 1000ppm as long as they do not have any tooth decay or fillings.
- Children under the age of 3 only need a smear of toothpaste.
- Children age 3-6 years can use a pea size amount.
- Make sure children do not eat or lick toothpaste from the tube.
- Sometimes we may recommend your child uses a higher concentration of fluoride, this would be discussed at your child’s routine check up.
- Children should be helped or supervised with their brushing until they are about 7 years old.
How To Make Brushing Fun
We thought we would give you some apps which help to make brushing fun, in case your little one isn’t as enthusiastic about toothbrushing as you would like them to be!
An award winning free app that gets the excitement back into brushing by playing 2 minutes of music from your Ipad/Ipod or phone to encourage proper brushing. This app will also remind your child about dentist appointments and replacing their toothbrush.
Disney, Crest and Oral B have come together to create a brushing timer that rewards children for doing a good job by revealing Disney or marvel characters the longer they brush for.
This app encourages children to brush their teeth for 2 minutes using a fun ‘Nurdle’ character, catchy music, a brushing timer and child-friendly videos that show you how to brush. Children can collect stars which allow them to purchase clothes to dress up their ‘Nurdle’ character.
A free app which gives kids a mission, to save the kingdom from an evil sorceress’s wicked spell. Brushing for 2 minutes scrubs away the spell for the kingdom’s quirky characters.