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A Guide To Good Brushing Habits Throughout Life

When should we start?

As soon as a babies teeth erupt we should start the habit of gently brushing their teeth with a smear of infant tooth paste (less than 1000 ppm fluoride) it is amazing how quickly they will accept brushing, start the lifelong habit for healthy teeth.

3-6 years brush twice a day, preferably supervised by an adult who gives them a final brush. Toothpaste is pea sized and stronger 1,350-1,500 ppm fluoride. At the surgery a fluoride varnish can be applied 2-4 times a year for added protection.

Aged 6 children enter the GOLDEN PERIOD FOR LIFELONG TOOTH PROTECTION. As their adult teeth start to erupt into the mouth they are immature, the surface enamel is incomplete and soft, viewed under a microscope the surface is covered with millions of tiny holes. This is a double edge sword, if offers the advantage that the tooth, if exposed to fluoride/minerals, absorbs them rapidly becoming increasingly hard. However the down side is the tooth is especially vulnerable to excess sugar in the diet as the holes already exist to allow rapid decay. Newly erupted teeth are more prone to decay for the first 18 months in the mouth and attention to thorough brushing and diet are essential. If we can protect them through this critical period they are statistically much less likely to suffer decay at any stage in the future.

7-10 years brush twice daily toothpaste ( at least 1,350 ppm fluoride) apply fluoride varnish 2-4 times yearly in the surgery 10-16 years at Crescent dental health at this stage as well as normal toothpastes, we encourage the use of a prescription only fluoride toothpaste (2,800 ppm fluoride) twice a week at night for added protection. As more back teeth start to appear, it is time to start flossing, as kids have no fillings it is easy, nothing for floss to snag on. Flossing is essential to clean the areas between teeth, brushing alone won’t do it.

16+ use a prescription only fluoride toothpaste (5,000 ppm fluoride) twice a week at night for added protection along with the normal toothpaste, flossing is always important or special brushes designed to clean the area in-between the teeth.

It s now a reality that your child with reasonable brushing , good habits and mainenace could progress through life without ever experiencing dental decay.

Imagine your life never needing a filling, the time and money saved, start these good habits now!

TURBO CHARGE YOUR BRUSHING

All toothpastes contain a range of medications/fluoride/minerals to repair the teeth and keep gums healthy. If you rinse thoroughly with water after brushing, you flush all that protection down the sink. Instead, brush your teeth, swish the foam around your teeth for 20 secs and spit out but do not rinse. This will saturate your saliva with these medications, bathing the teeth in these minerals helping the teeth to absorb them and repair any damaged areas.

During the day your normal cleansing saliva flow will take about 20 minutes to clear the minerals from the teeth, so your teeth are being repaired over those 20 minutes. At night as we sleep, saliva production greatly reduces, this becomes an advantage and your teeth are bathed longer in these favourable minerals, strengthening and repairing your teeth.

WHEN SHOULD I BRUSH MY TEETH

WE REALLY ONLY NEED TO CLEAN OUR TEETH ONCE A DAY! But then it needs to be perfect, removing all the bugs/bacteria from your teeth. It takes the bacteria in your mouth 24 hours, to form and organise to allow them attack your teeth and gums. And so if we brush really well once a day that is all we need.

However for most people, brushing after breakfast and lunch, to keep their mouth and breath feeling fresh is important. The only concern would be brushing directly after a highly acidic meal. (see our article on tooth sensitivity)

NIGHT TIME is the most important time to brush your teeth, at night your salivary flow greatly reduces. Saliva is so important in protecting your teeth, it is almost like a liquid layer of enamel. And so at night this protective layer is lost, if we take to equally “dirty mouths”, more damage will occur at night than during the day, so it is really important that your mouth is as clean as possible as you go to bed, with good brushing and flossing.