How do you brush?

This is a generally recommended technique for effective toothbrushing. However we always endeavour to advise on a technique that specifically suits your mouth and ability.

  • Use a soft to medium hardness nylon bristle brush.
  • The brush should not be too large it is easier to use a small brush.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste. (In children use a childrens toothpaste (lower fluoride) and only place a pea-sized amount on the brush.)
  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the teeth and gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes.
  • Ensure that the brush cleans the outer and inner tooth surfaces as well as the biting surfaces of the teeth.
  • Use an up-and-down motion to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth.

We may recommend an electric toothbrush as some studies have shown that these are more effective at removing dental plaque.

How do you floss?

  • Waxed floss or dental tape is usually easier to use.
  • Take off about 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around one of your middle fingers.
  • Wind the remaining floss around the middle finger of the opposite hand. This finger will then take up the floss as it becomes frayed and used. Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers.
  • Gently guide the floss into the space between your teeth by using a sawing action. Be careful not to force it or to snap the floss harshly into the gums.
  • When the floss reaches the gums, curve it against the side of a tooth and gently slide it down into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel a natural barrier. Do not force the floss into the gum.
  • Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions.
  • Repeat for all the spaces between your teeth and include the back wall of your very back teeth.

If you who have difficulty handling dental floss we will advise you on the many alternatives. These include special interdental brushes, picks or sticks.

How do you brush and floss? - Crawley Dentist