The University Dental and Implant Centre
The University Dental and Implant Centre
5 Pritchatts Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2QU
Tel: 0121 687 8882 • Fax: 0121 687 8883

Oral Hygiene

Brushing one’s teeth is an important part of oral hygiene. It prevents the build-up of tartar and can prevent cavities and gum disease. Dental palque is a film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth everyday. The aim of brushing is to remove plaque on a daily basis. Mouthwashes can also help but will not be a substitute for regular effective brushing.


How should I brush?

  • Place the head of your toothbrush against your teeth and angle against the gumline. Move the brush in small circular movements, several times, on all the surfaces of each individual tooth.
  • Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against the gumline.
  • Use the same method on the inside surfaces of all your teeth.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several small circular strokes with the toe (the front part) of the brush.

Animation - proper toothbrushing technique This animation shows you how to brush with a manual brush.

Electric toothbrush Many people find it easier with an Electric Toothbrush.

Should I use an electric or manual toothbrush?

Actually, it doesn’t matter so long as you do the job right. Technique is more important. Not everyone has equal manual dexterity and some people will manage better than others. However it is true to say that if someone is struggling to get their teeth free of plaque with a manual toothbrush, usually they will fare better with an electric toothbrush. You must ask your dentist or hygienist for advice first.

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Cleaning between Teeth

Cleaning between teeth is often forgotten and is essential to prevent Gum (Periodontal) Disease. Flossing plays an important role in this. Proper flossing technique is shown below.

Use about 18" of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with.
Gently follow the curves of your teeth.
Be sure to clean beneath the gumline, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums.

Using TePe Brushes instead of floss is sometimes easier but you must ask your dentist for advice first.

TePe brushes
TePe brushes
TePe brushes in use
TePe brushes in use
TePe brush - animation
Using TePe brushes

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