What are the guidelines? dentists work in partnership with their official dental associations which ensure that the best possible recommendations are issued to patients in order to improve and maintain dental health. As patient appointments generally occur every few months the home care component is vital to ensuring dental health as this is an every day task where consistency makes all the difference.
How often should I brush? the first aspect is to ensure you brush your teeth two times per day, for two minutes each time and using a fluoride toothpaste. This can seem so simple as to be overlooked, but the action is key as it brings together the required steps. Your practice or dental spa can advise on the best routine for you. The frequency of brushing is vital and proven from decades of care, research and observations. It is proven that 2 times a day brushing is ideal for maintaining oral health, including reducing gum disease and periodontitis and preserving the appearance, function and health of your teeth. The brushing action is the most important, and this is enhanced further with the use of fluoride toothpaste.
What type of toothpaste should I use? fluoride toothpaste is proven to be effective at cleaning teeth adequately and to maintain health. A range of toothpaste products are available on the market, but the brands using added fluoride mineral provide a superior level of performance.
How long should I brush for? studies have concluded that the optimal brushing duration is two minutes in the morning and two minutes in the evening. So this breaks down as one minute for top teeth and one minute for bottom teeth two times per day. Two minutes is the optimal time required to clean your teeth gums and remove or reduce plaque.
Is flossing optional? you should clean between your teeth once per day, as this is also important in order to maintain oral health. Some patients find using floss difficult, but there are other products which can be more effective and easier to use, this is called interdental cleaning which means cleaning between the teeth. Some people feel that flossing is fiddly, ineffective or unnecessary which makes it hard to establish interdental cleaning as a habit. Indeed if patients do not see positive results from flossing they may drop this from their daily, or even weekly routine. Flossing has become the term most widely used to describe interdental cleaning, however it is misleading as flossing is just one method or type of method to carry out interdental cleaning.
Using the term flossing as a catch all term can also lead to patients feeling that there are no other alternatives or alternative devices to complete this task. For example in addition to flossing and interdental brushes, patients can also use oral irrigators and wood sticks.
The results obtained will vary depending on the device used, technique applied, frequency of use and overall dental care routine. Therefore there is not necessarily one best method to complete the task of interdental cleaning. The best method will be one which is followed through on.