So, without further ado here are some fun facts:

1. The most effective way to brush your teeth is ‘technically’ by using an electric toothbrush. It is proved that there is a 21% reduction in plaque over the first 3 months of brushing using electric when compared to a manual toothbrush. Also, there are a huge increase in the variants of electric and sonic toothbrushes on the market today which make it easier to pick the one that suits you best.

2. You should brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time. Ever heard your mum shout for a two minute brush time? There’s a reason for that! Brushing your teeth post-breakfast after consuming products with high acid levels such as fruit juice may do more harm than good. You end up taking a layer of minerals from your teeth as the acid tends to stick to the enamel. Brushing before beds allows the removal of plaque allowing for a night with minimal oral bacteria. In the long run this has huge benefits.

3. ‘Only dentists floss their teeth’. Flossing your teeth is actually considered as important as brushing your teeth. The plaque that sits in between your teeth is a huge contributor to the need for fillings and root canals.

4. Using toothpaste is essential. Toothpaste contains fluoride that actively prevents tooth decay. Brushing your teeth without it, is not providing you with the best oral care. Using toothpaste that has an alternative to fluoride such as certain whitening products and bicarbonate of soda products sometimes harm the teeth due to their abrasive nature.

5. Chewing gum is good for your teeth. Obviously we are talking about sugar free chewing gum. The motion of chewing increases the levels of saliva in the mouth which in turn, lowers the acid levels. Due to the sticky nature of the gum it allows the little bits of food in the hard to reach places to be dislodged from the teeth giving an all-round ‘clean’.

6. ‘Only visit a dentist when you need to’. If you only visit a dentist when you need to its too late! You need to attend the dentist with bi-annual appointments. If you visit the dentist regularly then it actually becomes more cost effective as dentists are able to diagnose any problems before they have arisen. When you leave visits too long, some oral complications can worsen and become much harder to fix than if they were noticed 6 months earlier.

7. Using mouthwash after brushing is not always a good thing. Essentially mouthwash contains the same ingredients (give or take) as toothpaste. Rinsing with mouthwash straight after you have finished brushing means you are effectively washing away the fluoride (used to prevent tooth decay) and replacing it with more fluoride and ingredients that are also used to prevent tooth decay. The best way to use a mouthwash is where it has been prescribed by a doctor or dentist and when you have eaten something particularly acidic or sugary and you would prefer to rinse than to brush your teeth.

8. Brushing your teeth too much will damage them. Over brushing your teeth can lead to sensitive teeth and receding gums. The excess in the brushing schedule can wear down the enamel on your teeth and leave them feeling weak and exposed. Receding gums occur when you push back the gums with the toothbrush which can expose the root in some places. It is recommended you brush twice a day for a minimum, 2 minutes.

9. Holding your brush at 45 degree angle will give you the best results (many think that holding the brush directly to the tooth provides the best results). This way, you don’t brush too hard and do minimal damage to the gums.

10. The times at which you eat sugar is important when it comes to dental hygiene. It’s not just about how much sugar you eat but when you eat it. It is suggested you should take a break between 3-4 hours when consuming sugary and always try and eat carbohydrates with your sugary treats.

11. Bleeding gums aren’t normal. Many see blood when they brush for a number of reasons but you should not consider it normal and ignore just because you see it regularly. Prolonged blood when you brush may be a sign of more serious dental issues and it is important that you seek advice if the conditions carry on.

12. Drinking fizzy drink through a straw is better for your teeth. Any sugary or acidic drinks such as fizzy pop is going to affect your teeth regardless. However, in order to minimise the effects it is recommended that you drink through a straw which minimises the drink to teeth ratio.

So there you have it. 12 useful facts that will help you with your overall dental hygiene. Remember the important ones: always visit a dentist regularly and brush your teeth twice a day!

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