If you’ve noticed some decay in your teeth or your dentist has recommended a crown, it’s possible your diet and brushing habits are causing a buildup of plaque that leads to tooth decay. If you don’t have these issues it’s still good to be aware of them so you can avoid any issues and maintain a healthy smile. Below you will find tips on how to achieve excellent results with fluoride based products.

Brush for 2 Minutes

For healthy clean teeth you need to brush before you go to bed and one other time during the day. When you brush you need to sustain your efforts for around two minutes. It’s the combination of time and frequency that eliminates plaque and prevents your teeth from deteriorating.

Use the Best Brush

The type of toothbrush you use is down to personal preference. It makes little difference whether you use a manual or an electric toothbrush; however, some people prefer one over the other. A manual toothbrush might give you a little more control to reach awkward spaces; however, an electric toothbrush is also very good.

Use the Best Toothpaste

Bacteria in dental plaque is responsible for the decay of your teeth, but fluoride can protect against it effectively. Fluoride is found naturally in water but it’s added to toothpaste for its excellent properties. Ordinarly adults should use a toothpaste like Colgate, which contains the recommended 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. Those prone to tooth decay might be advised by their dentist to use Colgate Duraphat regularly, as it contains high fluoride levels, around 5000ppm.

Brush Teeth Thoroughly

It’s not much good if your tooth brushing time is short and only involves a quick rinse of the obvious surfaces. You need to spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth and ensure that all the surfaces are adequately covered. Brush the obvious surfaces, also brush the back of your teeth and the chewing surfaces.

Don’t Immediately Rinse

When you have finished brushing your teeth, most people rinse their mouth with water, gargle and go to bed. This actually prevents the fluoride in the toothpaste for covering your teeth and doing its job. Refrain from rinsing your mouth after brushing and let the remaining toothpaste settle on the enamel.

Use Mouthwash

Fluoride mouthwash is an excellent way to support your dental hygiene and keep your smile clean and bright. However, it’s counterproductive to use mouthwash directly after brushing your teeth. As with water, the mouthwash washes off the fluoride toothpaste. Pick another time of day to use mouthwash, such as after lunch.

Use Dental Floss

The near enemy of a healthy smile is plaque which is the build up of food bits between your teeth. Plaque can cause tooth decay and gum disease – it can also cause bad breath. Using dental floss is the best way to dislodge plaque from your teeth and protect them. Floss between your teeth around 30 minutes before brushing.

Use Interdental Brushes

If you have small gaps between your teeth it might be a better idea for you to use dental brushes. Dental brushes can be more effective than floss at dislodging plaque. Never use toothpicks for this job, they can damage the gums and cause them to bleed. Interdental brushes are the best way to remove problem plaque.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Mar 18, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Apr 01, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm