Flossing, tongue brushing & mouthwash Oh my!
In this day and age, everyone knows how important it is to clean your teeth. What a lot of people don’t know is that when it comes to good oral hygiene you also need to floss regularly, clean your tongue and use mouth wash. This post briefly touches on each of these points and tells you why you should.
What the floss!
Flossing helps to avoid gum disease by removing plaque and pieces of food that can get trapped between your teeth. If there is a build-up of either element then it can cause bacteria which may inflame your gums. Using a toothbrush alone doesn’t help because it can’t get into the spaces in-between your teeth.
If you have never flossed before or not done it for a while your gums may bleed as you start to remove plaque build-up. After a few days this should stop but if it doesn’t make sure you see a dentist. The most common way to do this is by using dental floss. For people who don’t like doing this or struggle to reach their molars then there are alternatives like the Sonicare airfloss. Click here to read about this gadget.
Brush my tongue? Seriously?
You can really improve your breath and remove halitosis by brushing your tongue. The front part of your tongue is generally fine but the residue of germs and bacteria on the back of it are the cause of nearly 50% of bad breath. This residue can easily brushed away. The back is where your taste buds are so a residue can affect your taste buds and even contribute to weight gain.
Obviously you want to avoid setting off your gag reflex. To do this you start at the back and scrape forwards very gently, you don’t want to damage your sensitive tongue. You only need to do this once a day or a few times a week and after a while your breath will improve enormously and your gag reflex will desensitize making it easier to do. You can get specific tongue scraping tools which are not that expensive or as terrifying as they sound. Full guide on tongue scraping with pictures here.
Alternatively you can use a toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste or mouthwash. If you have an electric one then do this with it turned off. The first minute of the video below shows you exactly what to do.
Should I use mouthwash?
Sometimes it has been known for people (like me) to use mouth wash as an alternative for brushing teeth if we are in a rush. However, people in the dentistry profession say that this is a really bad idea. The most important part of oral hygiene is brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing in between your teeth. That is what removes plaque and helps prevent problems like gingivitis and halitosis.
If you do the other things regularly then you don’t necessarily need to use mouthwash. In fact you use mouth wash within half an hour of brushing your teeth the chemicals can interact and actually cancel each other out making the toothpaste and wash ineffective.
This is why professionals say that you should wait at least half an hour before using mouth wash after cleaning your teeth. It is also recommended that you don’t eat or drink for thirty minutes after because it reduces the effect. However, using mouthwash can be helpful in reducing bad breath. For example, you could use it after lunch or mid-way through the day.
You can read a full article on mouthwash here.
In case we haven’t made it clear enough yet, flossing is really important and you need to do it! If you hate traditional flossing you could try a water flosser device. One of the most popular products is by Waterpik. You can read our review of it here: http://toothbrushtech.co.uk/waterpik-ultra-flosser-wp-100-review