It is essential to have a good daily oral care routine to maintain healthy teeth and gums and minimise the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, the two main reasons for tooth loss.

Using an electric toothbrush

It has long been proven that brushing your teeth regularly with an oscillating electric tooth brush is more effective at better plaque removal and gingivitis reduction than brushing with a manual tooth brush.

The oscillating tooth brush head does all the work for you, you just need to be sure to guide the brush around all parts of your mouth and onto each individual tooth.

Guide to using an electric toothbrush

  1. Before using your electric toothbrush for the first time, always refer to the manufacturers instructions for information and guidance.That way, you will be able to protect your teeth and keep your teeth and gums as plaque free as possible.
  2. Hold your electric toothbrush parallel to the floor, against your teeth.
  3. Following the curve of your gums and teeth, guide the brush along each tooth slowly, cleaning each tooth for a few seconds. Make you sure you reach inside and outside all teeth, all chewing surfaces and behind your back teeth. As the electric toothbrush is doing all the work, there is no need to scrub or press hard as you might with a manual toothbrush.

However, not everyone wants to use an electric tooth brush, preferring the control of a manual toothbrush. If manual cleaning is your preference, here is our suggestions for the best oral hygiene, using a manual toothbrush.

Using a manual toothbrush

Ideally, you need a soft bristle toothbrush, which is replaced every three months, and fluoride toothpaste. It is always best practice to ask your dentist or hygienist for their recommendation for the right teeth brushing technique for your teeth and then follow their directions, however, here is a general guide to manual teeth brushing.

Guide to manual teeth brushing

  1. Two minutes, twice a day will result in good oral hygiene. Spend 30 seconds cleaning each section of your mouth; upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right. Using a timer is really helpful to make sure you reach two minutes of cleaning.
  2. Brushing at a 45 degree angle, start with your inner and outer surfaces. Half-tooth wide strokes against the gum line are ideal, ensuring you get right to the back.
  3. For your chewing surfaces, hold the brush flat and brush back and forth.
  4. For the inside of your front teeth, use the tip of the brush tilted vertically for gentle up and down strokes.
  5. Don’t forget to brush along your gum line.
  6. And lastly, not forgetting your tongue, in order to remove odour causing bacteria and food particles, use a back to front sweeping motion across your tongue.

How to floss

  1. Use approximately 45cm of floss, and use a clean piece of that floss between each tooth.
  2. Bend the floss into a C shape as you slide it up and down between each tooth.

Dr Jan Einfeldt