Proper care of your teeth starts with careful brushing of your teeth. This keeps your teeth, molars and gums healthy. This reduces the risk of cavities in teeth and inflammation of the gums. For good hygiene it is important to take good care of your teeth twice a day. This month we give you some tips on how to do this.
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Brushing your teeth: this is the best way to do it
You brush your teeth to prevent dental plaque, this is a white-yellowish layer on the teeth and consists of bacteria, among other things. When brushing your teeth, choose a soft toothbrush with a small brush head. This way you can clean the entire teeth and prevent the gums from bleeding due to hard hairs. Replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles of the brush (the bristles) become parted.
Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. It is often easiest to keep to a fixed order of brushing so that you do not forget to clean parts of your teeth. You brush your teeth effectively when you make short strokes and hold your toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees to your gums.
You can also use an electric toothbrush. This brush makes the right brushing movement for you. This allows you to focus on placing the brush correctly. Let the electric brush do the work and hold the brush still for a few seconds per tooth or molar. An advantage of electric brushing is that, with most electric brushes, you get a signal after 2 minutes of brushing.
Not sure if you’re brushing correctly ? Your dentist or dental hygienist can explain the best way to do this.
Flossing is a little effort
You can use dental floss to clean the space between your teeth . Dental floss is available in different types. For example, the thickness of dental floss can vary. Sometimes there is a layer of wax on the floss. You can determine which floss you can use in consultation with your dentist or dental hygienist.
Flossing can be somewhat painful at first. This is often because your gums are sensitive or inflamed, which often causes the gums to bleed. When you floss daily you will notice that the complaints decrease and eventually disappear.
When flossing you need a piece of floss of about 40 centimeters. The ends of the thread should be wrapped loosely around your fingers. You stretch about 3 cm of floss between your fingers and you apply the floss between your teeth with your thumb and forefinger. To clean between the teeth, make back-and-forth movements. Slowly work the thread up with these movements. Repeat this with each tooth and tension a new piece of floss each time.
In addition to flossing, you can also use toothpicks to clean between your teeth. Using a toothpick is easier than flossing your teeth. A toothpick is made of wood and has a triangular shape with a flat side that tapers to a point. A toothpick can differ in thickness. Depending on the space between your teeth, you can use different thicknesses. A round toothpick does not exist, these are cocktail sticks and can be used to remove food residues. A toothpick, on the other hand, is used to remove plaque.
When you start using toothpicks, it can be difficult and painful at times. The gums can bleed because they are still inflamed, with daily use of toothpicks, inflammation will disappear and the bleeding will stop. If the gums still bleed after some time, this may indicate a wrong technique. Consult with your dentist or dental hygienist and inquire about the correct technique.
See also: Reimbursement for preventive oral care
Brushing With Brushes
Finally, you can use brushes , also known as interdental or spiral drills, for cleaning between the teeth. If there is enough space between the teeth, you can use a brush, which comes in different thicknesses and types. Some brushes have a long twist drill, other brushes have a short brush that must be secured in a handle or holder. The gums can also bleed when using interdental brushes, this will have to stop after some time.
Before using the brush, wet it first. Then grab the brush between thumb and forefinger and push it between the teeth. With your other finger you support adjacent teeth. Prevent the brush from overshooting. A brush should encounter some resistance. The metal core must not touch the teeth and gums. When you notice that you are pricking your gums, you should use the brush at a more slanted angle. Consult with your dentist or dental hygienist which brush suits you best. Improper use of a brush can cause damage to teeth or molars.
Mouthwash for extra protection
In addition to brushing and flossing teeth, it is advisable to use mouthwashes. There are different types of mouthwashes.
A mouthwash with fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel. Dentists and dental hygienists often recommend its use in people with an increased risk of cavities or infections.
A mouthwash with chlorhexidine prevents the formation of plaque on your teeth. You should not use this medicine for more than 1 to 2 weeks because it can cause discoloration of the teeth and tongue, a bad taste and a burning sensation of your mucous membranes. You can buy mouthwashes everywhere these days. Preferably buy a mouthwash without alcohol.