Until they are three years old, all children should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). From three years old, children should use toothpaste that contains 1350 – 1500 ppm. If you look closely at a tube of toothpaste it will say how much fluoride it has in it. Some people, especially children, don’t always like really strong minty flavours so it’s worth trying a few different ones until you find one everyone likes.
When should you brush your teeth?
We should all brush our teeth twice a day for two minutes, once last thing before we go to bed and one other time during the day. Ideally you should wait an hour after eating before brushing your teeth as the enamel can be softer and a little more vulnerable to damage after acid attack from food.
How long should you brush your teeth for?
Brush your teeth for two minutes – every time. It’s longer than you think! Some toothbrushes come with timers, which can be very handy for making sure you are brushing for the full two minutes. You can even download a brushing app to your phone, which will help you keep to the proper time. Or you can keep a simple two minute timer in the bathroom. Phone addicts may enjoy downloading a favourite song which is exactly two minutes long – the time will fly by.
Should you use an electric toothbrush?
I feel that it’s much easier to brush your teeth well with an electric toothbrush. It’s possible to brush too hard with a manual brush, which can damage your tooth enamel and gums. It’s less easy to miss out sections of your mouth and, if used correctly, electric toothbrushes just do a great job of keeping teeth and gums healthy. Anyone who has particular concerns, such as smokers, who often have discoloured teeth, will really feel and see the benefit of using an electric brush. Some of these brushes come with a tongue cleaner too. Your tongue can be a real reservoir for bacteria so keeping it clean is a positive step towards maintaining good oral health. The latest state-of-the-art electric toothbrushes are smart brushes. This means you can sync them with your phone for help with your brushing technique and feedback on how you are doing. This can be very helpful if you are finding it hard to get it right.