The first defence against gum disease is undoubtedly the humble toothbrush. But how often should you brush your teeth?
Some people swear by brushing after every meal, while the laziest among us may only give their teeth a scrub once a day.
All dentists will tell you though that you should be brushing your teeth twice a day.
When should I brush my teeth?
Not only is the frequency of when you brush your teeth important, when you brush is also crucial.
Remember the simple two by two rule; brush twice a day for two minutes, after breakfast and before bed.
Also ensure you avoid brushing straight after consuming anything acidic.
Acidic foods and drinks weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon after eating these types of foods can damage the enamel in this exposed state.
So if you’ve consumed fruit juice, soft drink, sports drinks or alcohol, as well as any foods containing citric acid, such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons, wait at least an hour until brushing.
How often should I floss my teeth?
You should ideally floss once a day, in the evening, after you have brushed your teeth.
Go gently when flossing and following the following technique:
- Start with a generous length of floss, winding most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with;
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers; slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth. Do not use a back-and-forth motion as this could cause gums to bleed;
- Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline;
- Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth;
- Rinse your mouth with water after flossing.