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    • Northway Dental Practice
    • 44 Northway
    • Maghull
    • Liverpool
    • L31 5LJ


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Top 8 Questions About Oral Hygiene Answered


Did you know that according to the WHO 17% of us don’t feel confident we are brushing correctly (which may be correct as a massive 39% of us don’t floss, and 41% of us change our toothbrushes less than twice per year!)? We have answered the top 8 frequently asked questions our patients ask us to help you perfect your oral hygiene routine.

How often should I brush my teeth?

You should brush your teeth twice per day (usually morning and night). This may seem obvious, but some people can actually over-brush! This isn’t usually a problem but in some cases over-brushing, especially after eating acidic foods, can contribute to the breakdown of enamel or be tough on your gums.

My gums hurt or bleed when I brush my teeth. What does this mean?

Gums can be sore or even bleed when brushing- this can be due to plaque or tartar build up, or the early signs of gum disease. It is best to arrange a check-up and discuss this with your Dentist so they can examine your mouth properly. Regular brushing and flossing between the teeth are important factors that help to prevent any gum problems.

Do I need to brush my tongue?

Did you know bacteria can build up on your tongue too? Bacteria can feed on the food and drink particles that get stuck on the sticky coating of your tongue, sand if you’re struggling with bad breath this may be a factor.  The bacteria can also spread throughout your mouth after brushing if the tongue is left, so lightly brushing the surface of your tongue is recommended to remove any build up. As always, if you are experiencing anything new or unusual it is best to see your dentist as soon as possible for a full check-up.

How often should I get a new toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months although a lot of people (41%!) admit to only replacing them twice a year or less! It is important to replace your toothbrush as soon as the bristles begin to look worn-down, or after a period of illness such as a cough or cold, as germs can live in your toothbrush.

Should I invest in an electric toothbrush?

Whilst there is research to suggest electric toothbrushes are better at brushing and therefore reducing plaque, tooth decay and gum disease,  if an electric toothbrush isn’t in your budget we recommend that the most important things to focus on are brushing twice a day using the proper method, flossing and replacing your toothbrush regularly; this should keep your oral hygiene top-notch!

What is the correct way to brush my teeth?

According to the WHO 1 in 5 of us don’t feel confident that we are brushing properly. Our top tips are:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth.
  • Gently move back and forth across the tooth surfaces, up, down and side-to-side remembering to concentrate on the areas where your teeth meet your gums too, as this is where bacteria can become trapped and cause decay.
  • Remember to brush the chewing surfaces and the backs of your teeth as well as the fronts.
  • Brush for at least 2 minutes.
  • Don’t rinse with water after brushing, simply spit out any excess toothpaste. The remaining toothpaste will help protect your teeth.

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Is using mouthwash necessary?

It isn’t necessary to use a mouthwash, however if you do wish to use one it is best not to use it after brushing, as it will wash away the preventative effects of your toothpaste. Mouth wash is great to use after lunch, or after eating or drinking something particularly acidic or sugary.

Should I floss?

Flossing should be an essential part of your oral hygiene routine. Flossing doesn’t just remove food from hard to reach areas between your teeth, it helps to prevent gum disease, bad breath and tooth decay by removing plaque where your toothbrush can’t reach! Floss up and down between each tooth after brushing.

Our Team

northway dental practice
    • Northway Dental Practice
    • 44 Northway
    • Maghull
    • Liverpool
    • L31 5LJ
  • 0151 526 2701