How to practice good oral hygiene

How to practice good oral hygiene

How to practice good oral hygiene

What toothpaste should I use for gum disease?

Brushing your teeth will aid in the removal of the plaque that has accumulated on your teeth that allows for the harbouring of bacteria, these bacteria are what cause gum disease, and in more severe cases, tooth decay and loss. There are a number of effective toothpaste brands that will be able to help you to remove the plaque, most toothpastes sold in pharmacies and supermarkets are able to do the job.

There are a few ingredients found in toothpaste that assist in the removal of the plaque more efficiently. Calcium carbonates and silicates are known as abrasive agents that help to remove sticky plaque. The foaming effect seen in toothpaste is a result of the detergent known as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Toothpaste tends to vary in the amount of SLS contained in them, when SLS is found in high amounts, this may cause issues for those who suffer from a low flow of saliva or dry mouth.

There are some brands of toothpaste that include zinc citrate and pyrophosphates, these are plaque-control ingredients and aid in preventing plaque from attaching to the teeth once they have been brushed.

It is advised that you use a toothpaste that contains a combination of the aforementioned ingredients so as to increase the efficiency of your oral hygiene routine.

To add to this routine, you should also include a mouthwash. Gargling with a mouthwash that contains essential-oils and dentifrice for 30 seconds after brushing your teeth can also aid in the prevention of plaque build-up.

How do I eliminate plaque on my teeth?

The most effective way to remove plaque, as previously mentioned, is to brush and clean your teeth twice a day. It is best to use a soft-bristled brush as hard- bristled brushes can cause your gums to recede from your teeth and damage the gum tissue. The shape and size of the toothbrush should easily enable you to reach all the areas of your mouth.

It is also best that you remove extra food particles by flossing once a day.

How do I brush and floss my teeth?

The following technique is recommended for brushing and flossing your teeth:


  1. Your toothbrush should be placed at a 45-degree angle adjacent to your gums.
  2. Move your toothbrush back and forth in a gentle motion. Be careful not to brush too hard as this can damage your gums.
  3. Make sure that you brush the inner and outer surfaces of the teeth, as well as the tops of your teeth (chewing surfaces).
  4. While using the tip of your toothbrush, clean the inner surfaces of your front teeth, this should be done in and downwards and upwards motion.
  5. Remember to brush your tongue as this can also harvest bacteria and is often the main cause of bad breath.


  1. It is best that you break off enough dental floss, you will need roughly 45 centimetres (18 inches). Wind the floss around your middle fingers, holding it tightly between the forefingers and thumbs.
  2. Make sure that you begin guiding the floss between the teeth, whilst making use of a soft rubbing motion.
  3. As the gum comes into contact with your gum line, curve it to resemble a C-shape against one tooth at a time. Gently slide the flood into the pocket between the tooth and the gum line.
  4. Once you have completed step three, then gently guide the floss back up to the point of contact between the adjacent teeth, then move the floss up and down the tooth next to the original one flossed.
  5. Make sure you keep the floss tightly against your tooth whilst gently rubbing the side of your tooth in an up and down motion.
  6. This method should be repeated on all of your teeth.

What else can be implemented to ensure I practise good oral hygiene? 

In addition to daily flossing and brushing, you can also make use of a mouthwash/mouth rinse. Mouth rinses that are antimicrobial will aid in reducing the activity of plaque and accumulation of bacteria.

Mouth rinses that contain fluoride can also prevent or reduce tooth decay. It is always advisable to speak to your dentist about the best products to use and see what he or she suggests. Always check the labels of your products for age and health restrictions as young children (under the age of six years old) cannot use fluoride rinses due to the fact that too much fluoride in childhood years can cause a condition known as fluorosis which alters the texture and colour of the teeth, and also because young children may accidentally swallow mouthwash instead of spitting it out.  

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