Homecare Techniques

You should brush your teeth twice a day – once a day you need to spend 2 minutes and do a very thorough job.

Homecare techniques – electric toothbrush

Of the electric toothbrushes we prefer the Oral B 3D timer models.

The advantages are

  • There are a variety of heads of which we recommend
      - The standard round head
      - The sensitive head (if you want something softer)
      - The interspace head (if recommended to you)
  • It will have a 2-minute timer that pulses after 30 seconds so it allows even allocation of time to the four quarters of your mouth
  • We find that patients get better results more easily than with a manual toothbrush.

Some do’s and don’ts

  • Hold it with your fingers not in your fist!
  • It is not a brush but a buffer! – hold it in one place, buff for a few seconds then move along and repeat.

Head angulation is important

Not at 90 degrees to the tooth (image 1)

Angle at 45 degrees – the bristles will adapt into the spaces between the teeth (images 2 & 3)

Do not try to clean the top & sides at the same time – you will miss down by the gum-line which is the most important area.

Download our Homecare Techniques pdf


Homecare techniques – how to brush using a manual toothbrush

You should brush your teeth twice a day – once a day you need to spend 2 minutes and do a very thorough job.

There are many ways of doing it some better than others. We don’t like the old fashioned scrub technique, nor does the “circles & flicks” technique work very well.

We teach the “push – jiggle – flick” technique. You need to use a short head, soft or “sensitive” toothbrush.

  1. Park the brush leaning at 45 degrees to the tooth – do not try and clean the top and sides at the same time.
  2. Do a small jiggle – the bristles will adapt and work their way into the space between the teeth
  3. Flick up the tooth. Do this 2-3 times in the same spot then move along around the arch.
  4. On the inside at the front, top and bottom you may need to stand the brush up on its end using the “toe” of the brush to clean.

Download our Homecare Techniques pdf


Homecare techniques – how to floss

Flossing on a daily basis is essential to remove plaque build-up between your teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach.

It is the only form of homecare where you actually get below the gum-line.

A lot of people use floss to remove food from between their teeth but don’t get the plaque off. When you floss imagine trying to wipe a film off the tooth!

Use enough floss (30-40cm) to hold it comfortably in your hands. Wind the floss around your middle fingers and then support it with your index fingers and or thumb – see how it sits on the ball of your fingers.

  1. Put one finger over your tongue, the other inside your lip. i.e. on either side of the tooth you are cleaning
  2. Because you have separated the holding (middle fingers) and directing (thumb / index fingers) functions, once you are through the contact between the teeth, you can slide your index fingers closer together towards each side of the tooth.
  3. This gives you better control – wrap it around the tooth (like a “c”) as shown, then slide up and down wiping the surface.
  4. Repeat on each tooth. Remember to clean the back of the last tooth in each corner of your mouth.
  5. If you find it difficult, ask us to demonstrate it again for you when you are next in.

P.S. Floss holders are available but come a poor second compared to using your fingers!

Download our Homecare Techniques pdf