An easy routine for clean, healthy teeth

Head of Clinical Services
04 March 2016
A father brushing his daughter's teeth

What’s the best daily routine to follow for healthy teeth? I’m pleased to say it’s one of the most common questions I hear from patients because it’s also one of the most important.

The first part of my answer is that the best routine is the one that works for you. We all have busy lifestyles these days and few people have time for a lengthy routine. The good news is, it’s not how long you brush that counts – it’s whether you’re using the right tools and technique. 

Get the right advice for you

Each person is different. This is why it’s so important to get advice from a dentist or dental hygienist who has examined your teeth and who knows your medical needs.

Whether you’re better off with an electric toothbrush or a manual one, for example, could depend on how well you’re cleaning your teeth with the one you have. Although there’s some evidence that a powered toothbrush may be better at removing plaque, brushing often enough and doing it correctly are probably more important. You might think a soft toothbrush is gentlest but this isn’t always the case. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. Your dentist or hygienist can also check your technique and show you how to improve it. There’s no substitute for this one-to-one advice.

They can also answer your questions about mouthwash. It’s often a matter of preference, although some people may benefit from a particular type of mouthwash. This might be to help reduce the effects of a dry mouth caused by medication. 

Everyone should clean between their teeth once a day. Whether you use dental floss or interdental brushes, and which type you choose, again depends on your individual situation and what you find easiest.

How often should you brush?

Brushing your teeth twice a day is ideal for most people. This is enough to get the job done – but not so much that you risk damaging your teeth. 

Believe it or not, some people actually harm their teeth by brushing them too often, sometimes as much as four or five times per day. This gradually wears down the surface tissues of the teeth. These tissues are tough, but they’re not indestructible.

Pushing too hard or brushing too energetically can also wear down your teeth. 

If your teeth are feeling sensitive, causing you to wince when you have a cold drink for example, over-brushing may be part of the reason.

Step-by-step guide

So here is a step-by-step guide to your daily oral hygiene routine. 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, morning and night.
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride. It’s crucial for keeping your teeth strong.
  • Choose a toothbrush based on advice from your dentist or dental hygienist.
  • Follow their advice on brushing correctly.
  • Clean between your teeth once a day, using dental floss or interdental brushes.
  • Use mouthwash if you wish, or if you’ve been advised to by your dentist or hygienist.

That’s all there is to it. Just follow this simple routine to protect your teeth and keep your smile bright.

Caring for your teeth is an important part of looking after your overall health. Discover more about our range of dentistry services.

Dr Steve Preddy
Head of Clinical Services

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