Don’t forget your toothbrush…


Hello!  My name is Adelle Gaunt and I am a Dental Hygienist. As a member of the Cleveland Orthodontics team I provide oral hygiene support for patients who wear braces and after-care advice on how to keep teeth healthy for life. I also work with other Adelle (hygienist)general dental practices across Teesside.

This article is about picking the right toothbrush for you…and how to use it!

As you would imagine my passion is oral hygiene and I want  to help people to keep their teeth for life.

But did you know that most people are using the wrong toothbrush?

The right tool for the job

Most people are using toothbrushes that are too big, too hard and splayed out. Your tooth brush should be no more than 1cm in length & 1/2cm wide and the bristles are best flat or slightly uneven.

It is usually best to buy your toothbrushes from your Dental Practice – they will only sell the correct toothbrush size.

You wouldn’t use the wrong DIY tool for the job so think of your mouth and toothbrush the same way.

And remember your mouth is not the size of the Tyne Tunnel! If your toothbrush is too big for the space it needs to clean and move around in – it will simply not do the job!

Change every 3 months…to save money!

You should change your toothbrush every 3 months – this is because the bristles wear down – so you need x4 toothbrushes per year and if you buy them from your dental practice this should cost you as little as £8 – much cheaper than dentures/crowns/implants!

If your toothbrush is splayed out then you are applying too much pressure which can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums  ( we call this “toothbrush abrasion” ). Your toothbrush should look the same at the end of 3 months as it did when you opened the packet – does yours?

 Pick the right toothpaste

Always use fluoride toothpaste – toothpastes not containing fluoride are difficult to find and are mainly only found in Health Stores. Fluoride is the most important part of your toothpaste – it’s what protects & strengthens your enamel – the hard coating around your teeth.

Imagine your teeth as a car…

Technique – is it important? Absolutely yes! Most people do one of x2 techniques or both:

  • Horizontal scrubbing – side to side action brushing many teeth at once
  • Vertical scrubbing – up & down

Both of these techniques are very poor and result in many problems.

Imagine washing your car every week with a large wire brush doing the above techniques – what would you do to the car paint work & metal below over time!

When we wash our cars we use a sponge which is soft and circular movements.  Only brush x2 teeth at a time using a circular movement so you are brushing your teeth and gums and count for 6 seconds then move onto the next 2 teeth.

This should take you 2-3 minutes but people actually only spend 20-30 seconds .

Go on…time yourself… you will be surprised how long 3 minutes can feel like!

About Cleveland Orthodontics

Our specialist-led practice has been established since 1996 and provides brace treatment to people of all ages from across the North East, including Middlesbrough, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham and Redcar.

We offer NHS orthodontic treatment for children and a range of modern white and “invisible” braces for adults of all ages such as Invisalign. FREE consultations are available… you can either telephone for an appointment on 01642 243 020 or book through our website.