How to Brush and Floss

Frequently Asked Questions about Toothbrushing:

Q. How often should you brush?
A. At the very minimum, we recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day; first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It would of course be great if you brush half way through your day.

Q. How long should you spend brushing?
A. To do the job properly, assuming you have a full set of teeth, it should take you between 2-3 mins to get the job done. Unfortunately, many people don’t spend enough time brushing their teeth and this inevitably means that areas are either not cleaned properly or are forgotten about altogether! Many surveys tell us that most people sadly only spend about 30 seconds cleaning their teeth.

Q. What type of toothbrush should you buy?
A. For most people, we would typically recommend either a soft or medium tufted toothbrush. We don’t recommend hard toothbrushes for anyone (they are only useful for scrubbing tiles!). Use just a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush.

Q. How often should you change my toothbrush?
A. Usually every 3 months or when the bristles start to bend or curve away from the brush.

Recommended Brushing Technique:

1. Position the Toothbrush

Direct the bristles of the toothbrush ‘apically’ (up for the upper teeth, down for the lower teeth) at a 45-degree angle. It is usually easier and safer if you first place the brush parallel with the long axis of the tooth.
From that position, the brush can be turned slightly and brought down to the gum margin to the 45-degree angle.
Position the Toothbrush
2. Angle the Bristles at the Gum/Tooth Margin

Place your toothbrush tips directed straight into the gum margin.
The bristles will be directed at approximately 45 degrees to the long axis of the tooth.
Bristles engaging sulcus
3. Strokes

Press lightly without flexing and bending the bristles.
The bristle tips will enter the gum ‘pockets’ at the gum-tooth border and cover the gum margin.
Angle the Bristles
4. Vibrate Back and Forth

Vibrate the toothbrush back and forth with very short strokes without disengaging the bristles from the gum margin. Count at least 10 vibrations.
Reposition the toothbrush and apply the brush to the next group of two or three teeth. Take care to overlap placement.
Repeat the entire stroke at each position around the upper and lower teeth, both for the outside and inside surfaces.
Back and Forth Motion

Frequently Asked Questions about Flossing:

Q. How often should you floss?
A. In an ideal world, twice a day, however if done correctly, it is adequate to floss once daily.

 Floss every night before brushing.

Q. What type of floss should you buy?
A. To be honest… it really doesn’t matter. It is best to check with your dentist which particular type is suitable for you (Floss Vs Tape; Waxed Vx Unwaxed, Superfloss etc).

Q. Food doesn’t get caught between my teeth, so why bother with floss?
Flossing isn’t so much about removing food as it is about removing plaque; Plaque is what actually what causes tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing or using an interdental cleaner is the only effective way to remove plaque between teeth.

Recommended Flossing Technique:

Let’s be honest – flossing isn’t easy! But, like everything in life, the more you practice doing it, the easier it becomes! Follow our technique below:

Hold your floss correctly.

Take a good length of floss – about the length of your arm – and wrap it around each middle finger, leaving about 4 inches of floss between them. Hold the floss between the thumb and index finger of each hand leaving about 1-2 inches between each hand.
Slide floss between teeth
Clean beneath the gum line.

Making sure the floss is taut, gently guide it in a slow sawing motion across the contact point between the teeth. Move the floss up and down a few times against the tooth to clean both above and below the gum-line, curving around the tooth for best results.
Floss well below gum line
Don’t forget either side of the gum line!

Make sure to floss either side of the little ‘papilla’ of gum between each tooth and make sure also to guide the floss below the gum line (as per these images) so that it cleans the pockets and spaces there. Repeat this procedure for each tooth.
Floss either side of the gum line
Remove the floss.

The floss can easily be removed by pulling it gently from one end only.
Remove floss from one end
Floss between ALL your teeth.

When it comes to floss, the back teeth are just as important as the front. The procedure is the same for the back teeth. Every few teeth, move to a clean piece of floss by unwinding floss from one middle finger and rewinding it onto the other finger.
Floss Your Back Teeth

To recap, flossing should be used before toothbrushing.
Floss may be doubled to provide a wider rubbing surface; A floss holder may be helpful for a person with a disability or for a parent or caregiver. Remember…. “floss the teeth you want to keep!” and “practice makes perfect.”

Opening Hours

Monday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday 8.00am - 7.00pm
Thursday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Friday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday 9.00am - 3.00pm
Sunday Closed
Bank Holidays Closed

Contact Us

7 Grand Canal Wharf, South Dock Rd, Dublin 4
Eircode: D04 R860
Phone: 01 6655900
Fax: 01 6655901
Website: http://shelbourneclinic.ie
Email: info@shelbourneclinic.ie

Connect With Us!