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You’re Probably Brushing Your Teeth Wrong

We all know that to maintain healthy teeth we need to stay away from sugars, and brush twice a day, despite this when we visit our dentists in Parramatta, we still often find we need a filling. The team here know that there is more to preventing tooth decay than just brushing twice a day.

How you brush your teeth also plays a big part, brushing manually removes that sticky dental plaque which is a mixture of bacteria, it’s acids and the sticky by-products of food remnants. This forms on the teeth straight after you have eaten, but it doesn’t start to become nasty and cause damage to your teeth until it reaches a particular stage of maturity. While the dentists in Parramatta don’t know how long this takes, but it’s believed to be around 12 hours.

Bacteria consumes sugar and, as a by-product, it produces acids which dissolve the minerals from your teeth to leave tiny holes we can’t see. If this process isn’t stopped, then tiny holes can become large, visible cavities. Take just two minutes to brush your teeth, morning and night. By brushing frequently, it helps prevent bacteria from developing to the stage where acid becomes established.

Electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual toothbrushes, and a small toothbrush head helps reach those awkward areas in the mouth. Use a medium texture brush as this cleans teeth effectively without damaging the teeth and gums.

When it comes to brushing, the most significant benefit is gained from using toothpaste. The key ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride which helps prevent tooth decay, fluoride also replaces lost minerals in teeth making them stronger. Use a toothpaste with 1350-1500 ppmF – that’s the concentration of fluoride in parts per million for maximum benefit and to help prevent tooth decay.

Read the ingredients on the back of your toothpaste to check your toothpaste concentration and remember that not all children’s toothpaste are strong enough for them to gain the maximum benefit. Your dentist in Parramatta may prescribe a higher strength fluoride toothpaste for them based on their assessment of you, or your child’s risk of tooth decay.

Plaque is hard to see as it’s white, just like your teeth. You can buy disclosing tablets from your chemist or supermarket; they are used to make plaque more visible to show any areas you may have missed when brushing.

During the night we produce less saliva than we do during the day. This means while you sleep your teeth have less protection and are more vulnerable to attacks by acid. It is for this reason you should remove food from your teeth before going to bed to prevent plaque and bacteria from feasting on your teeth while you sleep. Don’t eat or drink anything, apart from water after brushing at night to give the fluoride a chance to work.

This can be a difficult habit to break, but, once you have brushed your teeth, don’t rinse your mouth with water, or, use a mouthwash – you are washing away all the fluoride! This can actually reduce your chances of tooth decay by up to 25%.

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