Brushing your teeth regularly is the most effective way of preventing caries, loosening of teeth and bad breath. But even if you are careful about oral hygiene, dental damage may still occur. The reason for this is often incorrect brushing technique.

Electric toothbrush for correct brushing

A rotating-oscillating electric toothbrush reduces the risk of caries, plaque and loosening of teeth by between 7 and 17 % compared with a manual toothbrush.

Use the electric toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees to the tooth surface. Brush slowly, tooth by tooth. Start with the outside surfaces, then move on to the inside surfaces, and finish off with the chewing surfaces of the teeth. When you use an electric toothbrush it takes approximately two minutes to be sure you have cleaned each tooth properly. Then wait about two hours before you eat anything. Choose an electric toothbrush that has brush heads with soft bristles, as hard bristles in combination with powerful oscillation can wear away the enamel and expose root surfaces.

Dental floss and interdental sticks

Up to 33 % of your tooth surfaces are inaccessible with ordinary brushing. This is especially true of the surfaces between the teeth and the backs of the teeth, with the result that food residues stick there.

Dental floss is a great help. Hold it between your fingertips to reach even behind the teeth right at the back. Stretch the floss and gently “saw” back and forth between the teeth. The same technique applies if you prefer to use disposable flossers.
Plastic interdental sticks are also very useful. They are soft and flexible, allowing you to easily reach the back of your mouth. They are also more hygienic than wooden sticks, as they can be rinsed off.

Toothpaste and mouthwash

Your everyday toothpaste should contain fluoride and be low-abrasive. A highly abrasive toothpaste is good for dealing with staining, but only use it now and again as it can break up the enamel, making it more susceptible to further staining. If you want extra fluoride, choose a mouthwash with approximately 0.2 % fluoride content. This offers better protection than ordinary mouthwash, which only has the effect of temporarily concealing (for a few hours) bad bacterial odour in the mouth.

You can tell that you have been successful if your teeth are clean and free of plaque, you do not have bad breath, and your gums are a nice pink and do not bleed when you brush your teeth.

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