How to keep your teeth clean

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for at least two minutes to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

Plaque is a film of bacteria that coats your teeth if you don’t brush them properly.

It contributes to gum disease, tooth decay and cavities. Tooth brushing stops plaque building up. Try to make sure you brush every surface of all your teeth.

TOOTHBRUSH TIPS

Replace your brush or brush attachment every three months

Never share your toothbrush, as this can spread infections

Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes

Use an electric toothbrush

When should I brush my teeth?

Brush your teeth for at least two minutes last thing at night before you go to bed and on one other occasion every day.

Apart from bedtime, it doesn’t matter when the other time you brush your teeth is, providing it’s at least an hour after having a meal. Never brush your teeth straight after a meal as it can damage your teeth. This is especially important if you’ve had fruit, fizzy drinks, wine or any other food that contains acid because tooth enamel is softened by the acid and can be worn away by brushing.

Should I use an electric or manual toothbrush?

It’s a matter of personal preference. However, many studies report to show that electric toothbrushes are better than manual toothbrushes. Overall what is most important is that whichever you choose you must brush properly doing all the surfaces of all your teeth and you use fluoride toothpaste.

What should I look for in a toothbrush?

For most adults, a toothbrush with a small head and a compact, angled arrangement of long and short, round-end bristles is fine. If in doubt, ask your dentist.

What type of toothpaste should I use?

It’s important to use a toothpaste with the right concentration of fluoride. Check the packaging to find out how much fluoride each brand contains.

Children aged up to 3: use a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm (parts per million) fluoride.

Children aged 3-6: use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing 1,350-1,500ppm fluoride.

Adults: use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,350ppm fluoride.
Your dentist may prescribe a toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride if you need it. Don’t let children lick or eat toothpaste from the tube.