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8 tips for great everyday Smart oral Care

Good brushing habits & tips can be found readily online but with so many blogs and infographics out there we figured we would make a simple everyday guide for maintaining healthy teeth and gums that can be easily followed.

Kids brushing teeth

1) Brushing twice a day & brushing at the right time

If we could give you one single best piece of advice it would be this, maintaining the habit of brushing twice a day for 2 minutes + is absolutely essential for great oral health.

In terms of timing you need to be careful too. If you brush immediately after eating or drinking then you can risk damaging your teeth especially if you have consumed something acidic as you may brush the acids further into your tooth enamel (for more info check out this nytimes blog). It is recommended to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.

funny dental T shirt

2) Brushing technique

The way you brush is also very important, forget about trying to scrub your teeth with a hard brush as this is more likely to damage your teeth and gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the following:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

(from mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth)

There’s even a video if you want to see a brushing demonstration

how to brush properly

3) Using the correct type of brush and storing it correctly

The type of brush you use has a huge impact on the effectiveness of your cleaning. It is true that you can maintain strong oral health with a manual brush if you brush correctly but as Jefferson Dental Clinics state, electric toothbrushes offer easier, better cleaning and often come with timers to ensure you brush for two minutes. As well electric brushes maintain consistent vibrations which makes for an even clean throughout your mouth

Smart Oral Care

The toothbrush industry has been changing in recent years and our connected Kolibree toothbrush shows how smart devices and apps can be used to optimise and track brushing techniques (and works particularly well for kids)

Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush we recommend having a soft-bristled brush head to prevent damage to gums & tooth enamel associated with hard bristles.
Just quickly, when you finish using your brush it’s important to rinse it properly and store right to allow the water to run off it. It’s also recommended to make sure your brush doesn’t rest against somebody else’s and should be kept a few metres from your toilets to avoid germs spreading.

how to store your toothbrush4) Cleaning your tongue

We want to mention brushing your tongue as for some people it can prevent bad breath, not everyone needs to do this however. You can clean by simply brushing with your regular brush (brush from the back of your tongue to the front) but for those who need to pay special attention there are also specially designed tongue scrapers.

how to brush your tongue

5) Toothpaste

To compliment using the right type of brush & technique you need to ensure you are using the right type of toothpaste for you and your family. Toothpaste types vary according to the needs of the users and the ingredients (as you’ll see for flossing & mouthwash) and range from Whitening to Hypersensitivity prevention to Natural although you will also find a number of products that are all in one (see Dentalhealth.ie for more information). It is recommended to see if the benefits of any particular toothpaste are clinically proven and don’t hesitate to get your dentist’s opinion

The different types of toothpaste are readily available and easy found across the counter. Ultimately whichever toothpaste you decide to use you should follow the usage instructions given such as smaller amounts for children.

6) Flossing

To compliment your brushing you should be flossing as it helps remove food and plaque from the places it’s hard to brush. When it comes to flossing it’s recommended by the ADA to try to floss at least once a day, whether you do it before or after brushing doesn’t actually matter as long as you remember to do it!

There are recommended methods to floss as seen on askthedentist.com and there are several different types flossing products available such as picks, small brushes and classic dental floss (have a look on Amazon to get an idea).

how to floss your teeth

7) Mouthwash

Whether you need to use mouthwash can be advised by your dentist and there are different types depending on your needs, whether that is to freshen your breath, reduce plaque, prevent decay etc, the ingredients will also be based around your needs as well, for example one with fluoride may be better for tooth decay prevention and strengthening enamel.

You will find that many mouthwashes will come with an ADA seal of approval which means the brand has been independently evaluated to ensure the product is safe and effective (Mouthrinses Guidelines). As well we would recommend always reading the guidelines written on the bottle as it will advise if the product is suitable for the whole family and best use.

If you do choose / are recommended to rinse then Southeast Family dental say that you should do it before brushing and flossing, “swish it around your mouth”, Gargle for 45 seconds and never rinse afterwards.

8) Chewing gum

Using chewing gum isn’t a substitute for brushing teeth but according to the ADA can help “neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down” and proofs especially useful at times during the day when you’re out of the house.

The best time to chew is the 20 minutes immediately after eating or snacking as this will give enough time for the additional saliva that gum helps produce to neutralize the plaque acids.

Similarly to mouthwash you will find brands that have received the ADA approval and these will all be sugar-free gums.

Conclusion

So now we’ve gone into the detail, we thought we would make a daily checklist for you so you don’t miss anything:

  1. Brush Twice a day for at least  2 minutes
  2. Floss at least once a day when brushing
  3. Use mouthwash if recommended before brushing & flossing
  4. Clean & store your Brush properly
  5. Option: Chew gums for 20mins after meals & snacks
  6. Ensure you use toothpaste, floss and mouthwash suited to you and your family

So that’s our day to day smart oral care tips, what do you think, leave us a comment below? Of course the food and drink you consume has a huge affect on your oral health as well but we’ll cover that further in a dedicated article. Happy Brushing!

101 Comments

  • I remember being told to brush and floss my teeth every day, but now I’m starting to understand how important it is to start cleaning my tongue. I’ve tried brushing my teeth to combat my bad breath, so cleaning my tongue could be the solution I’ve been looking for. It seems like that would be worth trying so that I can have the clean breath that I want. Thanks for the tips!

    • Hi Deanna and thanks for your message. To combat bad breath, flossing & mouth rinsing are recommend as well. One thing that affects your breath too is diet; eating foods that sour your tongue such as garlic & onions will result in bad breath, so try not to eat them before going out :)

  • Thanks for putting emphasis on your first tip. You said, “If we could give you one single best piece of advice it would be this.” It seemed like a simple thing to do, to brush twice a day, but I wouldn’t have figured it was the most important thing, at least among the items in this list.

    • Hey Steven, they’re all relatively important pieces of advice but yes ensuring that the habit of brushing twice a day for two minutes is maintained is essential. We think that it’s almost more important for children too as they need to develop this habit for life.

  • Flossing really is one of the best things that you can do for your oral health and any dentist would agree. I think that it is one of the most overlooked pieces of hygiene that pertains to your mouth. People really don’t realize how much of a positive effect it has on your mouth and the ability to fight cavities. Flossing is able to reach the plaque and food that your toothbrush can’t so it is really beneficial to make it a priority.

    • Thanks for the comment Jessy and we totally agree. We feel that with the variety of products, flossing is easier than ever and remembering to do it once a day can’t be that hard can it?

  • Hi Ben Kelly,

    Great simple tips and guidelines for maintaining a healthy oral hygiene its really a big help.

    Thank you for sharing article.

    -Nile

  • I’m shocked to find out that brushing my teeth right after eating can be harmful. I always thought that it was the best thing to do. Is it always best to brush 30 minutes after eating, or just after eating acidic foods?

    • Hi Ian, it’s because you can push small pieces of food into small spaces around your teeth that get lodged and feed the bad bacteria that leads to plaque. It’s best to wait 30 minutes for all food although you can chew sugar free gum straight away which increases the levels of saliva that help break down and wash away the food.

  • Thank you for the tips. My dentist recently filled the first cavity that I have had and I realized that I need to take better care of my teeth. I hadn’t realized that chewing gum can actually help keep my teeth clean. What type of gum is best for that?

    • To be honest as long as it’s sugarfree then you’re generally good as they help produce saliva which cleans your mouth

  • The hardest part of flossing for me is just like you mentioned, remembering to do it! Every time I visit the dentist they ask how my flossing is going and advice me to do better. Maybe I should write note and stick it on the mirror so I can remember more often. I know how beneficial it is. Thanks for the great tips.

    • Hi Logan and thanks for reading. You could try setting some reminders on your phone and there’s even a company called Floss Time that have a connected floss dispenser which sticks to your mirror!

  • I have always been very particular when it comes to keeping my teeth clean. I had no idea that chewing gum can actually neutralize and wash away acids that are produced. This is a good incentive to keep chewing gum. Thanks for sharing this blog, and I hope to see more posts in the future!

  • I didn’t know that it’s bad to brush teeth right after eating. I will keep that in mind for sure. I am working on improving my oral hygiene, and your tips are very helpful for me. I have an appointment with a dentist next week, I want healthy and white teeth again!

  • I really like how you suggested that we should always brush at least twice a day and do it at the right time. People live very busy lives and they always forget to brush their teeth because its really easy to forget. I went to my dentist the other day and he always tells me I need to floss more. I was wondering if mouth rinse does the same thing as flossing?

  • Thank you for the tips on taking care of your teeth! I always brush and floss, but I don’t often use mouthwash or gum. I’ll try to do this more often. How often would you recommend going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning?

  • My husband and I haven’t been able to go to the dentist for the longest time because we couldn’t afford it. However, now we have started to get affordable dental services and are really happy about that. We had our first appointment in a long time last week and neither of us had any cavities. We were really surprised, but our dentist told us that it was because we flossed habitually. We normally floss every day just out of habit, but I know that many people struggle with doing it. What is it about flossing that makes it so difficult for people to do? I do it because I know that it is important and have seen how it affects my oral hygiene.

  • I had no idea that I have been brushing my teeth incorrectly for the past 23 years of my life! In your post you mention that I should be brushing my teeth with the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, and that I should also be cleaning the inside surfaces of my front teeth. I don’t do either of these things, but I’m going to start doing them when I brush my teeth tonight. I want to keep my teeth as clean and healthy as possible, so thanks for the help!

  • I thought it was really interesting that chewing gum can help neutralize and wash away acids that are produced when food is broken down. I had actually never heard of this before, but I can see how you accidentally forgot to brush your teeth or if you’re on the go, always having gum on hand will help you ensure that you are able to break down those particles and help your mouth to be a little bit healthier. Thank you for sharing!

  • I have been looking for ways to take better care of my teeth. I never knew brushing right after eating wasn’t a good thing. I will need to try that out today. Thank you for the help.

  • I never thought of asking my dentist about whether or not I would need to use mouthwash. I also wouldn’t have guessed that I was supposed to do it before brushing my teeth. I have always used it after brushing. What is the benefit of doing it before?

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes, floss at least once a day, Use mouthwash, Clean and store of Brush properly, particular toothpaste are used which are more important, Cleaning tongue that prevent bad breath and technique also a great idea. intelligent tips dear, Thanks for your great tips!

  • These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to get your dentist’s opinion on what kind of toothpaste to use. I’ve been using a particular brand for a while now, but I hadn’t even thought about whether that was the right choice or not. I’ll definitely ask my dentist what kind of toothpaste he suggests next time I go in for a checkup. Thanks for the great post!

  • I think it is important to take your time with dental care. Rushing through your routine can make you miss parts of your teeth for cleaning. Learning how to take care of your teeth is a great way to stay healthy.

  • Thanks for sharing these oral health tips! I’m pretty good about most of them, but I don’t usually clean my tongue as well as my teeth. I guess it’s not necessarily essential, but I’ll give it a try. Where can you purchase the “specially designed tongue scrapers” that you mention?

    • Hey Patti, great to hear you’re going to try cleaning your tongue. We would recommend visiting the chemist or your dental office where you’ll be able to get a variety of options :)

  • I thought that you made an interesting point about how cleaning my tongue can lead to good oral health. I’ve been having bad breath recently, so perhaps I should start brushing it for better smelling breath. It’s good to know that I can use my normal toothbrush to clean my tongue. That will help me save money on buying a tongue scraper. Thanks for the tips!

  • My husband and I are really good about our dental hygiene. Now that we have a little baby, I am wondering when it is a good time to start teaching those habits. Our baby is only 3 months old, but is there something we can start doing now?

  • I really appreciate you letting me know that it’s important to brush my teeth at a 45 degree angle. I had no idea that this was the best way to get rid of germs. I am definitely going to follow your insight, and begin brushing my teeth like this. Hopefully I’ll be able to noticed a difference in the way my teeth feel and look.

  • Thank you for the help. I visited the dentist last week for the first time in a while. He told me that I may be using the wrong kind of toothbrush, as you mentioned, which I didn’t realize was possible. I didn’t think that an electric toothbrush was actually worth it. I may have to go get one if it really is that effective.

  • We are very good about getting our kids to brush their teeth. They are both under the age of 5. However, they fight us on flossing and brushing their tongues. Any tips on what I can do to help them not be afraid of those two things?

  • I like what this article mentions about brushing technique. I didn’t realize that this could play a role in the effectiveness of brushing. I’ll have to remember to keep this in mind along with talk to my kids about it. Thanks for the post!

    • Hi Tyler and thanks for the comment. Yes, the technique used for brushing is important, it’s a great idea to teach kids the proper technique from an early age so they keep it for life :)

  • I am glad that you pointed out that you need to remember to floss more often if you want healthy teeth. Flossing can help get rid of plaque that has built up around your teeth. It seems like it might also be a good idea to see your dentist on a regular basis if you want strong teeth.

  • This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that chewing gum can help keep your teeth healthy. I haven’t chewed a lot of gum in the past, but I also didn’t realize it could have dental health benefits! With that in mind, I’ll definitely look into doing so after I eat snacks to keep my teeth clean. Thanks for the great post!

  • Ben, thanks for the great advice on how to better care for my teeth. I am so glad that you wrote about how to store a toothbrush because I have always worried about where to store it after use to avoid germs and other bacteria. I thinks it safe to assume that after all we can do on our own, its best to seek dental help from a trained professional.

    • I would definitely agree Wesley, it’s very important to have a good day-to-day routine but also match this with regular dental visits as this will help with any problems that might arise.

  • Brushing my teeth hasn’t always been an easy thing for me to do. It just feels weird to have a small little bristles going against my teeth. Although, it is one of those necessary things I need to do if I want to keep a good clean smile. I might have to follow your guidelines for keeping a good oral health.

  • The dentist always mentions flossing and brushing but I rarely hear about cleaning my tongue. I’ll have to start implementing that in my daily mouth cleaning. This probably isn’t going to help me avoid any emergency dental care but it will save me from having embarrassing moments where my breath stinks. Are the tongue scrapers found in normal grocery stores?

    • Exactly, we all want nice smelling breath 😉 There’s a number of places where you can get them from online, at your dental office and yes even some grocery stores!

  • Why is it that you recommend using mouthwash before brushing and flossing my teeth. Won’t it do more good after most of the plaque has been brushed away? If I am supposed to use mouthwash first, then I don’t think I have ever used it right in my life.

    • Hi James and thanks for the great question. In fact it is a disputed topic but our research suggests using it before allows the mouthwash to loosen up the plaque before brushing but don’t sweat it if you have done it the other way around :)

  • Indeed, not many people realize that when they brush is as important as how many times. People will often eat a before bed snack, brush immediately, and wonder why their oral health isn’t very good. My mother taught me that and I haven’t had any issues.

  • I think flossing is one of the most important dental habits. I know I often overlook it, which is really bad. I really like the dental picks they have, they make flossing quick and easy for me in the morning.

    • Thanks for the message Kenneth. I think dental picks are a great alternative if you’re able to easily integrate them into your daily habits, great idea!

  • Your flossing tips will be useful for me to know when I clean my teeth tonight. You mentioned that I should floss at least once a day and that it doesn’t matter if I do it before or after brushing. Does it matter if I choose to floss once in the morning or the evening? I’ve been flossing in the evening thinking that it would be better to go to bed without any food stuck between my teeth. Knowing if it would also be okay to do it in the morning while going to bed after only brushing would be helpful so that I can have a better idea of how I should fit it into my routine.

    • Hi Judy and thanks for the flossing question 😀 It actually doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing as long as you’re thorough with both. In terms or whether to do it in the morning or evening, again it’s not that important, just creating the once a day habit is the most important thing to do. I hope this helps!

  • I appreciated this post, especially since I’m trying to teach my kids good oral habits. I definitely agree with brushing at least twice and day, but I didn’t realize that the timing is important as well. It makes sense though that you should wait 30 minutes after eating before you brush. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Hi Kyler and yes, waiting a short while will avoid bits of food getting stuck between your teeth 😀 thanks for your comment

  • Cleaning your tongue is an awesome tip if you ask me. I neglected cleaning my tongue for years and when I started doing it, I noticed how much fresher my breath was immediately. I’ll have to recommend cleaning your mouth this way to all of my friends since it worked so great for me. Thanks for the awesome advice for everyone to see!

    • Thanks for the comment David and it’s great to hear about the results you’ve had with brushing your tongue, keep spreading the word!

  • I found it really interesting that chewing gum after meals can actually help your mouth produce more saliva that helps clean your teeth! My mouth does generally feel dirty after eating and I don’t always have time to go brush them. Using gum seems like a great alternative! I will have to ask my dentist if there is a specific kind that works better than others, thanks!

    • That’s a great idea, they may recommend a particular brand, please let us know! Do make sure you pick a sugarfree gum 😀

  • I had no idea that chewing gum could be an important part of my dental hygiene! However, what type of gum do you think would be the most beneficial when it comes to neutralizing and washing away the acids? After reading about this, though, I am definitely interested in chewing gum after I eat for now on.

  • I’ll have to use these tips for getting my kids into a healthy oral care routine. I often forget the importance of brushing technique for teeth and gum health so I’ll need to apply those tips. Thanks for the helpful dental advice.

  • These are some really good dental care tips to know. I liked what you said about remembering to brush your tongue. It would be smart to also talk to your dentist other things you can do to keep your mouth healthy.

  • I didn’t know that I needed to wait to brush my teeth after eating! I almost always have coffee or something to eat before I brush my teeth in the morning and I didn’t know this could be damaging my teeth. I’ll be changing that routine for sure. Thank you so much for this article.

  • It’s interesting that you mentioned how you could find the ADA approval on gum. I thought it was only on toothpaste or mouthwash. Are there any other products that I should look for the ADA approval on?

  • For the past four times, I’ve gone to the dentist I’ve had cavities. I really want to go a time without them finding a problem with my teeth. I know I need to do something in order to make this happen. Thanks for the video on the correct way to touch, I’ll try that and maybe even some new toothpaste.

  • I appreciate your information on the proper way to brush. A friend of mine has been sort of stressing me out about how I brush my teeth. She says that certain brushing techniques can wear down your teeth and cause damage. I can avoid this now that I know at least one good way, thank you!

  • I think that it is so important to be able to take care of your teeth. It is important to have them the rest of your life. That way you can always have good oral care.

  • Thanks for sharing these useful tips with us. Following the advice on a daily basis would help anyone to overcome dental health hazards; Otherwise, it is essential for anyone to consult a local dentist. 

  • I agree that it is important to brush your teeth twice a day. It prevents acids from eroding your teeth. That way you can have healthier teeth.

  • I really like your tip to floss. Along with cleaning your teeth it helps to keep your gums healthy too. I appreciate your clarification that it doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing. That is something I have always wondered about. thanks for all these great tips!

    • Thanks April for your kind comments. Whether flossing before or after is a really common question with such a simple answer, it doesn’t matter 😀

  • Someone told me once that it is better to brush your teeth in little circles, is this true? It can be difficult to tell what is true and what is a myth. I didn’t realize that chewing gun was so beneficial to dental health, I will be taking your advice and chewing more often now. Is there a specific kind of gum that would work best?

  • Other than using the correct brush, I think it is also a good idea to make sure to get a new brush every few months. You have no idea what kind of bacteria is collecting on your toothbrush! I don’t know what the recommended time is to keep a toothbrush, but probably not for a full year or more!

  • It’s good to know that gum can still be a way to clean your teeth. Like you mentioned, if you are out of the house, gum will help remove some of the stuff that may cause damage to your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water right after eating may also help.

  • This tips are very important when it comes to oral treatment. We should teach our children to do brush twice a day from childhood.

  • Amazing tips to give your teeth a longer and better life. Many of these tips are given by the expert dentists. Thanks for sharing it with us. these are simple and must follow tips should be shared with all. Thanks for posting!

  • Thanks for sharing some oral care tips. You make a great point about how important it is to brush twice a day. I didn’t realize that there are certain techniques that are better for removing plaque and bacteria from your mouth. Hopefully, I can find a good dentist to teach me the best ways to take care of my mouth.

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