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  • ‘Mouthwash should be used straight after brushing’

False — Toothpaste contains fluoride which prevents against tooth decay thus preventing cavities. This is why it’s really important to just spit after brushing and not rinse away your toothpaste after brushing with either water or mouthwash. To really benefit from using mouthwash use it at a separate time from brushing, perhaps after lunch or dinner. Only use a mouthwash if recommended by a dental professional.

  • ‘Sharing a toothbrush is fine, I gave it a rinse’

False — within the oral cavity we have over 700 types of bacteria and after brushing some bacteria will inevitably remain. Many people suffer from bleeding gums and again blood may reside on the toothbrush. Sharing is not advised, even with someone who you might think has good oral hygiene.

  • ‘When using a manual toothbrush circular motions should be used’

True — there are several methods that can be used when brushing, however the modified bass technique (small circular motions) is the most commonly recommended method due to it being the most effective way to remove plaque and biofilm from the tooth surfaces. It also minimises trauma and wear along the gum margins.

  • ‘The harder and bigger the brush the better’

— A Hard toothbrush isn’t necessary as it can damage the gum and cause permanent wear to the tooth surface, especially when the wrong technique is used to brush your teeth. A large head on your toothbrush will, for most people, hinder the access to smaller and harder to reach regions of your mouth, therefore will not effectively remove plaque and food deposits. It is generally recommended for most people to go for a small headed, medium bristle toothbrush.