Research by the British Dental Health Foundation has found that 47% of us admit to sleeping without brushing our teeth at night on a regular basis. It was revealed that 59% of women had the tendency to skip brushing at bedtime compared to men at 35%. Interestingly, fewer people skipped brushing their teeth in the morning. Possibly the thought of others" reaction to the unpleasant smell motivates one to brush their teeth in the morning?
It's not just bad breath however, that is caused by not following good oral hygiene at home. Leaving bacteria-rich plaque on tooth surfaces lead to tooth decay, and gum inflammation on the gums. If not treated promptly, these can lead to abscesses, toothaches, bleeding gums, and even wobbly teeth. Once bacteria invade the teeth and gums to a certain extent, it becomes impossible to restore the natural structures of teeth and bone without treatment from a dentist or dental specialist. This said, dental restorations don't guarantee lifelong success and therefore further and more in-depth treatment may be required after initial treatment. So, what are the consequences of not brushing your teeth? Painful toothaches, bleeding gums, swollen faces, and a big blow to your bank account!
Now that I've scared you off, I would like to give you some tips on how to carry out a good oral hygiene regime at home, and prevent these dental problems occurring.
- Brush twice a day, every day
- Brush for 2 minutes. It may help to set a timer or brush whilst listening to your favourite music
- Use a soft or a medium brush - not a hard brush!
- Brush using correct techniques. This involves small circular movement at a 45 degree angle towards the gums. For a video of the correct brushing technique, click here
- Make sure you use floss or interdental brushes to clean in-between teeth, as a toothbrush cannot clean in this area
- Use toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride, which helps re-mineralise teeth
- Don't brush too hard as this can cause tooth abrasion and gum recession
- Use a disclosing tablet to check if you have missed any areas.
Visiting the hygienist for regular cleans and a dental examination with the dentist twice a year is also recommended to maintain good oral health. After all, a person's smile is one of the most attractive features they have, so let's try our best to keep it for as long as we can.