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  • Wellbeing

How to Keep Teeth Healthy

09 October, 2014

Oral hygiene is a critical aspect of good health. Healthy teeth need ongoing attention and good brushing technique.

Here are some essential tips for maintaining healthy teeth.

Choosing the right toothbrush

You should always ensure that your toothbrush is of an appropriate size. If the user is straining to open their mouth to manoeuvre the brush in a circular pattern, it is probably too large.

Manual toothbrushes can be just as effective as electrical toothbrushes, and that technique is more important. For your gums, soft-bristled brushes are better.

Using the right toothpaste

There are different types of toothpaste for different teeth conditions. For example, there are different toothpastes for conditions such as sensitivity, stained teeth, tartar and cavities. A dentist can recommend the right toothpaste for different requirements.

Brushing technique

Studies have revealed that most people do not brush long enough. Price claimed that an effective brushing session should last at least two minutes, and everyone should brush at least twice or three times a day. Sesemann noted that brushing too often or too hard can irritate the gums and erode tooth enamel, so it’s important to get the right balance.

Using soft gentle strokes, taking time to clean the gum line, the back teeth and other harder to reach areas is also important. Sesemann recommended that people aim their bristles at the gum line at a 45-degree angle and use short strokes, brushing up and down (using circular and vertical motions) rather than across the teeth.

Dedicate at least 30 seconds to each quadrant of the mouth, and do not forget to brush outer and inner surfaces, chewing surface and the tongue.

Caring for and changing your toothbrush

Shake the water off the toothbrush and allow to air dry between brushes. Wet toothbrushes can encourage bacterial growth and misshapen bristles. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months, according to dentists. More frequent replacements may be necessary if bristles become frayed more quickly than expected.

Regular check-ups at the dentist are vital for ongoing dental health. CBHS members may be able to claim benefits for no gap dental check-ups if they have Extras cover. To find out more about our dental options, including our Dental Choice Network, check out our website

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