What is the best way to clean my teeth?
There are many devices and techniques to clean your teeth. Brushing, flossing, interdental cleaners, oral irrigators, different types of mouth washes and so on. Different ways of cleaning will be appropriate to different people and different ages. A two year old’s cleaning regime will be markedly different to an eighty year olds with Parkinson’s. Dr Davies will be happy to show you effective cleaning techniques.
A simple answer is time and thought. Studies have shown two minutes to be an optimal cleaning time. It is important to clean all areas of all the teeth – not just the outside top front teeth.
What is the best type of tooth brush to use?
Again, it makes less of a difference than some people think. Good results can be achieved with a powered or a hand held brush. Even old and worn brushes can be used- however in the name of hygiene, it is probably better to discard these brushes. It is important to realise that a toothbrush alone does not clean the entire tooth. In fact, in children, 90% of holes develop between back molars, an area unreachable by the toothbrush.
Should I chew gum after eating?
For some people chewing gum is a way to stimulate saliva. It must always be an artificially sweetened gum – sugared gum can be a decay night-mare. For some people gum chewing may exacerbate a grinding habit and would be counter-indicated. Dr Davies will be able to advise on this.
Should I floss or use Piksters?
Piksters (A brand name for one type of inter-dental cleaner)are an excellent way of cleaning teeth where there has been some bone loss (Periodontal disease). People without this condition do not use piksters but should floss as should all patients. It is important to learn to use floss early in life for optimal dental health.
ADA Fact Sheet Flossing
What toothpaste should I use?
Toothpaste has many different components. They contain ingredients such as abrasives, water, flavourings, soaps, humectants and binding agents. You should use toothpaste that contains fluoride, Dr Davies can advise on this. Some people will require de-sensitising toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes tend to be more abrasive, something the marketing department probably doesn’t want you to know.
How often should I brush my teeth?
Usually three times a day. Of course sometimes when we are busy we don’t do as thorough job as we should. It is a good idea to make sure they get at least one thorough cleaning every day.
How often should I see a dentist?
It depends on your dental health. If you clean well, floss, don’t smoke and have a low decay rate, probably adults need to see a dentist once a year. Children’s teeth should be six monthly. If you have gum disease you need to see a dentist more regularly, in some cases as often as every two months.
What does smoking do to my mouth?
Smoking is a disaster for oral health. Apart from the obvious staining and bad breath, we see breakdown of teeth, gums and bone occurring at a rapid rate in smokers. Don’t smoke.