SEEING the dentist can be a painful experience – for your mouth and pocket.
But looking after those pearly whites means you are less likely to need pricey work.
Toothbrushes shouldn’t be kept in the bathroom and mouthwash isn’t as helpful as you might think[/caption]
Faizan Zaheer, from Bupa Dental Care, shares his advice on how to keep teeth in tip-top condition.
BRUSH UP ON STORAGE: Good toothbrush hygiene means keeping it somewhere for it to dry out — and that’s not the bathroom.
Faizan says: “Toothbrushes that stay moist for an extended period encourage bacterial growth. Keep your toothbrush holder away from the toilet and sink. Flushing can create an aerosol effect, spraying germs in the air.” It is also a good idea to change your brush every three to four months.
TWO-MINUTE CLEAN: Brush your teeth for two minutes, morning and evening, with a fluoride toothpaste.
“If you are very good at brushing, then plaque will not build up, so there will be fewer spots for bacteria to produce acid and cause decay,” says Faizan.
Brushing too hard can wear away the enamel on your teeth, so use light pressure in a small, circular motion.
DON’T RINSE: It is best to just spit out toothpaste after cleaning.
Faizan says: “People tend to rinse their mouths after brushing.
However, this causes the removal of fluoride from the teeth, which means it can’t benefit by strengthening the minerals in the enamel.”
Rinsing with mouthwash is another habit to drop.
Faizan says: “It usually has a lower fluoride concentration than toothpaste. Therefore, it will dilute the fluoride concentration in the mouth if used after brushing.”
Wait a minute after brushing before using mouthwash, or find another time in the day.
FLOSS: Using floss or small interdental brushes removes bacteria between your teeth.
Faizan says: “Put the dental floss between two teeth and while holding it firmly against one tooth, slide it up and down.
“Repeat while holding the floss against the other tooth in the gap.
“As the floss reaches your gums, carefully slide it below the gum line to get those hard-to-reach places.”
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