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Ten Tips for Brushing your Teeth

POSTED ON 12 July 2022

Picture for category Ten Tips for Brushing your Teeth

Do you ever remember your parents saying to you, ‘You’ve only got one set, you better look after’ em!’? Or did they ever pull the old, ‘The tooth fairy won’t give you any money if your tooth’s gone bad!’?... Well, although we’ve still not yet had confirmation from the tooth fairy on that one, our parents or guardians had good reason to encourage us to brush our teeth. The task always felt like such a drag as a kid, despite the promises of a monetary exchange with a make-believe fairy. It was no fun, at all. The kids toothpaste tasted chalky, tinged oddly pink, and it was usually a signal that bedtime came shortly after.


Our oral health is SO important. From the minute we start growing teeth as babies, it’s imperative they are well looked after to prevent more serious issues in later life. And those issues are not exclusive to mouth hygiene either. So although there are all the more common issues of yellowing teeth, halitosis with a capitol HAH, gum disease and tooth decay, there are also more severe health concerns that can ensue like respiratory infections, dementia, heart failure, diabetes… really, the list goes on. Albeit, those may be more rare situations, but it’s worth knowing because they are genuine results of bad oral hygiene! (Just in case the tooth fairy isn’t scary enough, that should teach you to clean those gnashers!)


I think we all know this by now, but just to be crystal clear, it’s recommended we brush twice. Once in the morning/day, and once before bedtime. But according to research carried out by Dentaly.org, only 67% of adults they studied actually cleaned their teeth twice daily. Luckily only 2% said they didn't brush at all. Brushing your teeth might seem pretty straight forward but there are a couple of do’s and don'ts that you may not have heard of! Here are 10 tips from Dentaly on how to get that million dollar smile of yours gleaming!

Brush before bed

So, most people already know to do this. But do you know why? Well, when we sleep, we produce less saliva. And with less saliva, our mouths are less capable of fighting any bad bacteria that might linger from eating and drinking throughout the day. 


Try not to brush right after eating

Are you a before breakfast or after breakfast brusher? Well… according to Dentaly, it’s actually better to brush your teeth before! Or at least wait a while after eating before you brush. This is because any acids that you might consume with your breakfasts break down or ‘weaken’ the protective tooth enamel, and if you brush during this time, you risk scraping it away. If you just can’t change your morning routine, Detaly recommend rinsing your mouth with water after eating and waiting for at least 30 - 60 minutes until brushing.


Brush for 2 to 3 minutes 

You don’t want to go mad, over brushing can be damaging to your teeth and hurt your gums. But you need to show those lovely teeth of yours some attention. About 2 to 3 minutes of a concentrated, even brushing technique should suffice. You want to make sure you’re getting all the teeth, making sure to really reach those back molars, don’t forget about those! They can be tricky to get to at times too, especially if you have grown wisdom teeth. Dentist recommend brushing with an electric toothbrush with a smaller head to reach the entirety of those back teeth.


Flossing… Before or after?

Yes, we all know we ‘should’ floss blah blah blah… If you are among the elite that genuinely floss regularly (no fibbers now!), listen up, you might not know this… According to the NHS and the Oral Health Foundation we should be flossing BEFORE brushing our teeth. Why? Because if we clean the gaps between our teeth first, it helps the fluoride in toothpaste to coat in between your teeth, making it more effective. But seriously, we should all be flossing regularly to maintain a healthy smile!


Should you rinse after brushing?

I think it goes without saying that most of us do this. But why? To get rid of the excess toothpaste perhaps? But actually we’ve been doing it all wrong, and that’s most likely because most of us won’t know the science behind toothpaste. Any dentists reading this, most likely rolling their eyes and saying ‘yeah we keep telling you this’!

Well, here’s a quick (very basic) lesson. There is an ingredient in toothpaste called fluoride. And this ingredient is very important for the following reasons: It can help to reinforce any weakened enamel. It can help protect teeth against decay. It is absorbed by the teeth and can help resist acid, and prevent damage that bacteria can cause. So, hence why it is recommended that we don’t rinse our mouths after we brush. We don’t want to rinse off all the fluoride. It’s there for defence. You also don’t want to use too much toothpaste! Dentaly recommends a pea-sized amount. That is enough for anyone over 3 years old.


When should you use mouthwash?

Wait, don’t rinse after brushing… So when should we use mouthwash? Well, it’s suggested that you use mouthwash whenever you need to freshen up. But most importantly, it’s best practice to not use mouthwash right after brushing, due to the reasons stated above, unless you have been specifically told to by your dentist. The optimum time to brush your teeth is right after you eat. This is because your mouth becomes more acidic as a result of sugar in the food and drink you consume throughout the day. And, as we now know, brushing is not recommended in order to maintain the protective layer of enamel on our teeth. So, if you do feel like you need a little minty boost, use mouthwash instead. You can brush your teeth later. 

Electric toothbrushes VS manual

Okay, let’s settle this one. Is an electric toothbrush really better than using a standard one? Well, according to a lot of dentists, when used correctly, either is a sufficient tool to clean your teeth. But it might be that an electric toothbrush is a better, and more certain way to get rid of plaque every time you brush. If you notice that your toothbrush bristles are splayed, that might be an indication that it needs replacing, or, that you’re brushing a little too hard! Replace your toothbrush head every few months, for most effective hygiene and brushing. 


Don’t forget the tongue!

Using your toothbrush or a tongue scraper is a really good way to prevent breath that could outdo a zombie. Bacteria gets caught to the rough surface of our tongue, so it’s helpful to brush it away to reduce bad breath and more importantly reduce the risk of tooth decay.


Circular motions please people

No more ‘brusha brusha brusha’. We want fluid, circular movements with the head of the brush. This is to make sure that the brush reaches the entirety of the tooth’s surface area, and to prevent harsh actions that could make your gums bleed. SO gently does it, and don’t go knocking out a tooth in haste!


Consider what you eat

Now, we are never going to tell you what not to eat. Life is all about balance, and we advocate always treating yourself to a little bit’o what you fancy! However, if you want to maintain whiter looking teeth, it’s better to avoid mass consumption of food and drinks that could stain your teeth. Unfortunately, it’s normally the nicest things that are most sugary and acidic. Including things like red wine (we know, we’re sorry) and coffee. Damn. Your call!


So, there you go! 10 top tips to keep your teeth looking good, your breath smelling good, and most importantly keeping your teeth healthy and strong. We’ll all be sporting smiles like Rylan in no time!




At Zesti, we make scrubs for lots of professions in the healthcare industry, including dentistry. Whether your style is chic and glam, clean and simple, or perhaps a little more modern and casual, we will have a fit that suits you and the vibe of your practice. Next time you refresh your scrub uniforms, make a statement with Zesti.



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