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Having good oral hygiene is essential if you want strong and healthy teeth and gums. Here at Down House dental practice in Brighton, we have lots of suggestions for your oral hygiene, to help keep your oral health in check.


Brush teeth twice a day

It is important to brush twice a day, for 2 minutes at a time. Make sure you brush all over the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of the teeth and supervise children until they’re at least 7. Remember to brush baby’s teeth as soon as they start to come through.

Regularly replace your toothbrush

Whether you use an electric or manual brush, it’s a good idea to change your toothbrush every 3 months, as bristles can wear. Most people find a small brush head with compact, angled bristles ideal. If you do choose an electric brush, one with a rotating head is preferred.

Check the fluoride in your toothpaste

For adults and children over 6, use a toothpaste that’s between 1350ppm (parts per million) and 1500ppm. For children under 6, use a toothpaste with at least 1000ppm. After brushing, spit out any excess toothpaste, but don’t rinse your mouth – this will dilute the fluoride.

Try a mouthwash

Again, check the fluoride content. Be sure to use your mouthwash at a different time to brushing so you don’t wash away the fluoride.

Floss regularly

Using floss or dental tape may help reduce gum disease and bad breath, and can dislodge food stuck between teeth. You can also use interdental brushes, which are recommended for those with gaps between teeth. Work from the top down to gently scrape the tooth. If this is the first time you’ve flossed, you may notice some tenderness and bleeding, but this should stop happening after a few days.

Switch up your lifestyle

If you smoke, regularly drink alcohol and eat more than the recommended amount of sugar, your dental hygienist may advise on cutting down (or quitting, where appropriate). Even one little lifestyle change could make a big difference in helping the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. Smoking and drinking too much have been linked to mouth cancer and may stain teeth, while sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay.

While good oral hygiene at home is important, it’s also important to have regular check-ups. This will help to keep an eye on your oral health and detect any problems early on. It’s a chance to have your teeth, gums and mouth examined and have a thorough oral clean, and you’ll also be able to ask any questions you might have.

The time between check-ups depends on the state of your oral health and how much you focus on your oral hygiene. Those with good oral health usually need to see a dental hygienist every 1-2 years, while those with poor oral health might need one every few months.

If you’re due a treatment session with your dental hygienist, simply book today.