Choosing a Toothbrush
A toothbrush must have small head, so it can reach the back teeth and must be made of extra soft bristles. Toothbrushes must be changed when the bristles flare out. Normally it takes three to four months.
Diet and Dental Health
The prevention of dental decay begins with cutting down the amount of sugars taken in all forms. Most people think we refer only to sweets as the culprits. But there are other dangerous sugar-containing foods as well
Some of them are:
- All sugars (including honey).
- Soft drinks such as cokes and lemonade.
- Nearly all cereals.
- Cakes, biscuits and puddings.
- Jam on your bread, marmalade on your toast.
- Chocolates, sweets and toffees.
- Peppermint sweets (They are the most dangerous because people believe the peppermint taste to be ‘medicinal’. These sweets are almost pure sugar).
Cleaning the Teeth
The tooth has five surfaces – front, back, the two sides and the chewing surface. Brush the top and bottom teeth separately. Most dentists agree that the bristle tips should be applied at 45 degrees to the gum area just above where the teeth emerge and should concentrate on the gum margins (where most people miss). The bristles are moved back and forth with a gentle circular scrubbing motion and short strokes. Do not forget the teeth right at the back of the mouth and also the inside surface of the teeth. Finally brush all the biting surfaces. It often takes three or four visits to teach someone to brush effectively!
Tips on Brushing
- Do not put too much toothpaste on the brush, it will foam up and make you want to spit and rinse too soon. Studies show that once people get to the spit and rinse stage they stop brushing even though some teeth have not been brushed.
- Do not wet your brush before applying the paste or before starting to brush. It alters the action of the bristles and prevents them removing plaque effectively.
Tips on Using Floss
Take about 40 cm of Floss. Not be taken in by special gadgets, which promise to make flossing easier. None of these does anything except add problems. What must be done is to get the strand of floss between the teeth, then wrap it starting from the gum and ending at the biting surface. Do this sweeping motion two or three times and then repeat with the adjoining tooth.