Cleaning

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Fig 1.1 Toothbrushing

A good cleaning regime, carried out on a daily basis, is important in preventing disease and bad breath, and maximising the lifespan of any fillings, crowns, bridges or implants you may have. Technique is very important to ensure no areas are missed. A bad technique will continue to miss certain areas every time, and lead to problems in those areas. Our dentists or hygienists would be happy to provide individual advice. Manual toothbrushes used well can be very efficient though nowadays, many people prefer electric brushes. If you are thinking of buying an electric toothbrush, we would strongly recommend one which is rechargeable and not run by small disposable batteries. Again, technique is important in providing the best results. We always have a supply of electric brushes to purchase at the practice.

Good tooth brushing is not as straightforward as many would like to believe. It is often done ineffectively in some areas of the mouth which may not be visible, and many patients need some guidance to help in these areas. Another common fault is to be too vigorous which can damage the gums and teeth, cause recession, and cut grooves into the teeth. Vigorous brushing tends to also be ineffective at plaque removal. A good technique is gentle but thorough. Soft plaque which has been missed will harden to form calculus (tartar) which is unable to be removed by a toothbrush and needs professional removal.

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Fig 1.2 Use of interdental
TePe brushes

Cleaning between the teeth with interdental brushes or floss is also important and should ideally be carried out daily. Technique though is again important and we can help you with this.

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Fig 1.3 Use of Superfloss

Superfloss is generally used for cleaning beneath bridges where ordinary floss won’t go.

You may also like to read “Gum disease” or “Hygienist Care