Oral Hygiene – Why it’s Important to Brush your Teeth

Brushing your Teeth
Brushing your Teeth
Photo by Petahmayer at Pixabay

Did you know that your oral health can affect other organs in your body? If you don’t brush your teeth and have poor oral hygiene bacteria can cause inflammation in your mouth. The inflammation can then pass into your bloodstream and transfer to other organs such as your heart.

That’s why it is important to take care of your teeth and gums and in this article, we’ll show you how to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top condition.

Why brushing your teeth is necessary

If you brush your teeth twice a day for around 2 minutes each time your teeth will stay clean. Use fluoride toothpaste because fluoride reduces the risk of tooth decay.

The fluoride content should be no less than 1,350 part per million (PPM) fluoride. Children under the age of three years old can use a lower fluoride toothpaste with not less than 1,000 PPM fluoride. If you feel your teeth aren’t clean after 2 minutes, then brushing for longer won’t do any harm.

Brushing removes the plaque coating your teeth. Plaque is bacteria and can cause tooth decay and gum disease. It is best to brush your teeth before you go to bed and at some time during the day, either in the morning or after lunch.

Choosing a toothbrush

It doesn’t matter whether you choose a manual or an electric toothbrush. As long as you clean your teeth thoroughly both will do the same job. People who use manual toothbrushes often pick a toothbrush with angled short and long bristles, with a small compact head. If you prefer an electric toothbrush a rotating or oscillating head is best.

How to brush your teeth

When you are brushing your teeth, brush the inside surfaces as well as the outside and the top of your teeth where you chew.  Colgate has a useful YouTube video which shows you how to brush correctly. When you have finished brushing spit out any excess toothpaste, but don’t rinse your mouth. The reason for this is that the fluoride will keep working on your teeth and rinsing your mouth will get rid of the fluoride.

Dental Flossing

There are various types of dental floss, you can choose which one suits you.

  • The most common floss is Ribbon Floss. It is a fine floss designed to slide into tight spaces.
  • Super Floss is another type of floss. It contains varying widths so you can use it if you have braces or implants.
  • Floss Picks. Floss picks are often used on the go, they are easy to carry around so you can use them after lunch for example.
  • Satin Floss. This covers a wider area and is ideal for people who have wider gaps between teeth.

Always wash your hands before you use floss and then break off a piece of floss around 45 cm (18 inches) in length. Wrap some of the floss around the index or middle finger of each hand and then guide the floss between your teeth.

Once the floss is in place use a gliding motion to rub the floss against the sides of your tooth and under the gum. Have a look at this article from Oral B it will show you how to floss.


You shouldn’t use mouthwash immediately after brushing your teeth. It’s best to use it between brushing.  After you have used mouthwash don’t eat or drink anything for half an hour afterwards. This is so that the liquid can do its job of reducing the bacteria in your mouth.

If you want any advice about choosing a toothbrush or buying mouthwash or floss, we’re happy to help here at VSM Pharmacy. Just ask a member of staff and they will advise you.

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