10 useful tips for oral hygiene

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Brushing twice daily with an electric toothbrush

This is one of the easiest ways to keep your teeth clean. Using an electric toothbrush, hold the brush at a 45-degree angle near the gumline and tooth. When you are visiting one of our hygiene therapists for your appointment, they can show you techniques of brushing and the best way to remove plaque. An electric toothbrush is a good way to ensure that the tooth surface is being covered; did you know with a manual toothbrush the movements are around 300 and with an electric toothbrush is it around 3,000 strokes, so you’re covering a lot more with an electric toothbrush.

Our clinicians can provide you with advice about electric toothbrushes and you can even purchase 1 while at the practice.

Using interdental brushes or floss

Interdental cleaning equates for 40% of your routine cleaning. It can remove food and plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach; flossing at least once a day should be part of your daily routine. You may get bleeding at first but don’t let that put you off. It will stop if you keep flossing daily as your gums will become less inflamed from the plaque that was there.

Again our clinicians can demonstrate interdental cleaning and recommend the most suitable floss or tepes for you, again which are all widely available at the practice.

Routine dental visits

Having regular check ups with the dentist are important so that they can keep your mouth healthy. They can check your gums to ensure they are healthy and take x-rays of the teeth to highlight any cavities or periodontal disease at the earliest opportunity.

Should I see a hygiene therapist between visits from the dentist?

To maintain your oral hygiene an important part is maintenance; the hygiene therapist can remove plaque and calculus which reduces the risk of periodontal disease. Whilst also cleaning your teeth they will give you advice on how to clean interdentally and tips on the best way of brushing.

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Reducing the sugar, you eat and drink

When it comes to your teeth, keeping sugar to a minimum is important. We should limit our sugary snacks and drinks to mealtimes only, where possible. This ensures that we have less ‘sugar attacks’ throughout the day and our teeth are able to retain a normal PH level. Our normal PH level is 5.5 when we have a sugary snack it can raise to 7; each attack lasts around one hour and increases chances of cavities.

Drink water

Drinking water after mealtimes is a good way to keep your mouth clean, it washes away any food from your meal and dilutes the acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth. It also fights against dry mouth which can cause cavities.

Changing your toothbrush

You should replace your toothbrush or the toothbrush head (if you have an electric toothbrush) every 12 weeks or sooner if the bristles look worn down. If you use for longer it becomes less efficient in cleaning. You can set a 3 monthly reminder to remind yourself that you’re due to replace it.

Using a fluoride toothpaste

Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day reduces the risk of cavities, it’s one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay. Toothpastes containing 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride are the most effective. Your dentist may prescribe you a higher strength toothpaste if you’re at risk of tooth decay.

Avoid smoking

Not only are you at higher risk of cancer from smoking but you’re also at risk of periodontal disease. Smoking increases the plaque reduction and reduces blood flow which slows the natural healing process down, this then affects the gums from regenerating.


Many people use mouthwash after brushing their teeth as part of a routine. If you use mouthwash after brushing your teeth, you’re removing the fluoride from your teeth from the toothpaste. If you still want to stick to using a mouthwash after, try using one hour after brushing your teeth.

For advice on oral hygiene, call the practice on 01482 440084 to arrange an appointment with one of our Hygiene Therapists.

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