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5 Simple Things To Improve How You Clean Your Teeth

June 25, 2021

Taking care of your teeth and gums can make you feel better about yourself and your smile. As discussed in our previous blog there is a strong link between your overall health and dental health. In fact, poor oral hygiene can increase your risk of conditions such as heart disease and even dementia.

The good news is, improving your dental routine doesn’t require many major changes to your lifestyle. Instead, a few simple tweaks daily can dramatically improve your dental health by changing the way you clean your teeth. Let’s delve into our tips in more detail below.

Invest in a decent toothbrush

Whether you are a manual or electric toothbrush lover, investing in a good toothbrush is a must. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend a fortune on the latest toothbrush to benefit your oral health. In fact, if it has tough bristles then you are actually doing more harm than good without even realising it. The harder the bristles are on your brush the more likely you are going to be brushing too hard which could lead to precious enamel loss and could even result in receding gums.

Here are our recommendations for a toothbrush:

  • Manual toothbrushes should have soft bristles and we recommend replacing them every 3-4 months.
  • Battery operated toothbrushes are good to use to transition or if you are travelling but lack the technology of a good quality electric toothbrush. These last on average 4-6 weeks. Always choose a ‘soft’ option for bristles if available or avoid using them.
  • Electric toothbrushes should last years, and include features such as a pressure sensor to reduce the risk of recession and damage from over brushing as well as a built in timer. You will need to spend about £60 plus but it’s well worth the investment. We recommend changing the heads every 3-4 months.

Don’t use a mouthwash straight after brushing

We recommend not using mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth. Ideally, you need to wait around 30 minutes after brushing before using mouthwash. The reason being is to stop you from rinsing away the precious fluoride from your toothpaste that needs to sit on your teeth after you have cleaned them. Gargle 5-10mls for roughly 1 minute before spitting out to ensure that all bacteria has been removed from your teeth and to gain maximum benefit from the mouthwash.

Remember mouthwash is an extra in our oral health regime and not a replacement for flossing or brushing.

Remember to floss

Do you floss? A national survey of over 2,000 adults found that more than one in four people lie to their dentists about how often they do actually floss. Although you may feel like this step is not important, it actually is the only way to remove any food that is caught between your teeth. Failure to remove the stuck food can result in plaque building up in a spot that is hard to access.

We recommend flossing right before you go to bed to ensure that any food from the day has been removed from between your teeth. Flossing at least once a day can really improve your overall dental health. When it comes to flossing you have a few options to choose from depending on your preferences.

  • Traditional floss can be used to clean between your teeth where your brush does not reach.
  • Flossettes (floss with a handle) are a great option if you are just starting out flossing as many people find these easier to use.
  • Interdental brushes are often colour coded according to size and can be used rather than traditional floss if they fit. You do need to be ‘sized up’ by your hygienist so make sure that you use the right size for your mouth or they won’t be effective.
  • Water flossers have risen in popularity recently. However, if you have small gaps between your teeth then you may find this type of flossing difficult. Our advice is to try floss and interdental brushes first before you invest in one of these.

Stay hydrated

With our body being made up of 60% water, it’s highly important that we replenish what our body uses daily. When you think of the symptoms of dehydration you may think of headaches, dizziness or tiredness, but tooth decay will likely not cross your mind. When you become dehydrated you actually decrease the amount of saliva in your mouth. When your mouth is dry the bacteria that is normally washed away with your saliva is left to build up on your enamel resulting in an increased risk of tooth decay.

We recommend drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day to ensure that your body stays hydrated and to prevent the bacteria damaging your teeth.

Consume a good diet

It’s true, you can’t out brush a bad diet. Sugar really is enemy number one when it comes to oral health. Plaque bacteria is the white sticky build up that forms on teeth usually visible around the gumline and between your teeth. Unfortunately, plaque has the ability to trap stains and create cavities by dissolving the enamel. It’s a sticky colourless deposit at first but when it forms tartar it is often brown or pale yellow. Did you know that it takes plaque bacteria only 5 minutes to start the decay process and up to an hour to stop?

If you are a frequent consumer of sugary snacks and drinks, the process is happening continually within your mouth, leading to tooth decay and other problems. Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth will help to offer you between 4-12 hours of protection, which is why we recommend brushing your teeth twice a day. You may be inclined to start brushing your teeth more, however the best strategy is to either reduce the amount of sugar you are consuming or to consume them with other food at mealtimes.

For example, if you eat your Snickers bar as part of your lunch or dinner, the other food you have eaten will help to buffer the sugar and reduce its effect on your teeth and gums. By reducing the frequency of sugar, this may help you to stay within the WHO guidelines of 30g of sugar or 6 teaspoons of sugar per day for adults.

The take home messages are:

  1. Use a soft toothbrush twice a day
  2. Use floss or interdental brushes once a day to clean where your toothbrush doesn’t reach.
  3. Don’t rinse with mouthwash straight after you brush – wait at least 30 minutes.
  4. Eat  your sugary snacks with meals and limit your sugar consumption to 6 tsp per day.
  5. Stay hydrated. You can never go wrong with drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day.

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Find us

Smile Hub Spitalfields

8a Brushfield Street
E1 6AN

Opening times

Monday - Friday

9am - 5pm


9am - 1pm

(By appointment only for Invisalign and composite bonding)



Smile Hub Linklaters

Linklaters Wellness Centre
2nd Floor Milton House
One Silk Street

Opening times

Tuesday - Thursday

9am - 5pm

Monday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday


Smile Hub UBS

UBS Dental Suite
First floor, UBS Medical Centre
5 Broadgate

Opening times

Monday - Thursday

9am - 5pm

Friday - Sunday