Cleaning our teeth is a complex procedure which needs a lot of attention and should be carried out a minimum of two times per day. If done well it helps to keep bacteria in our mouths to a healthy level. If not done well it can lead to gum problems and in 10% of people loss of bone.
If you have a brace in your mouth it is even more important to clean your teeth well. The brace is a barrier to brushing and if teeth feel achy, there can be a tendency to brush less. It takes much longer to brush your teeth with a brace on. It is also worth having a travel brush or a cleaning kit, so that you can clean your teeth after meals. This avoids the embarrassment of having food stuck between the brace when speaking to people as well as keeping your mouth healthy.
Have a good brushing regime can be of help and we often recommend brushing should be at least 2 minutes. It is also worth looking at your teeth during and after brushing to make sure you have got to all the right places. Plaque which is the greasy substance which is white at the necks of our teeth contains bacteria. After brushing, a fine network starts to develop on our teeth within minutes. Bacteria then attach to this and start to eat, produce waste and multiply.
The most important time to brush is before bed time because our mouths become dry at night. This environment is better for the bad bugs. So cleaning them off before bed is really important. If brushing in the morning, by bed time, the population of bacteria in the mouth is getting much higher.
Flossing can be very useful, especially for adults where the teeth are longer. Floss can be used as standard, or superfloss can be used with braces. This is a kind of nylon thread with a thicker strip in the middle. It can be threaded between the teeth more easily than normal floss.
Interspace brushes are also useful and TEPE brushes are a more commonly used product. They just need care when pushing them between the teeth. Some people like to use a Water Pik. This is an instrument which sprays water between the teeth a kind of power washer for the teeth. They should be used as well as a tooth brush so that a fluoride toothpaste can be used as well.
We are often asked about Electric Toothbrushes. They can be better than manual ones for a number of reasons. The novelty of using tech can make brushing fun. There is no evidence that using an electric toothbrush that uses an App, leads to better oral health.
If you buy a smart electric toothbrush, the instructions will guide you to the App Store to download the App onto your iPhone or android phone. This can then link with your brush. The product has a device to attach your phone to, while brushing. The app links with the brush and gives you feedback on whether you are going too light, too hard, how far through brushing you are.
The research that has been done with these devices seems to show that the App really does help people to brush better.
So if you want to buy an electric toothbrush, make sure you buy one with an App.