Perfect Pearls

Remembering to brush your teeth twice a day is the easy part. Knowing how to properly clean your teeth and look after them is the bit most people forget. Dr Tim Bradstock-Smith from the London Smile Clinic offers his expert advice on everything you need to know about brushing your teeth.

Posted: 13.06.12

‘Say cheese!’ If you’ve been avoiding the cameras for fear of showing off a smile, that isn’t as picture perfect as you like, it’s not too late to make a few simple changes to your dental routine to ensure your teeth are in the best shape they can be. Starting with the basics.

Leading Cosmetic Dentist and Founder of the award-winning London Smile Clinic, Dr Tim Bradstock-Smith explains what everyone should know about brushing their teeth:

1. It is essential that you use toothpaste every time you brush. Toothpaste helps fight plaque, stops plaque and calculus buildup, disinfects your mouth and brightens and polishes your teeth.

2. It is important not to brush too hard so you do not strip away healthy enamel, causing sensitivity to the teeth. Although you need to brush along the gum line to remove plaque, do not scrub back and forwards too vigorously as you can damage the gum and wear out the teeth.

3. Electric brushes (known as power brushes) can be extremely effective in removing plaque in hard to reach areas. Manual brushing can sometime miss certain areas when you do not brush correctly, resulting in plaque buildup and gum disease. Equally, you must be careful not to get too carried away with power brushing, as overuse can result in stripping away healthy enamel, resulting in sensitivity. Be sure to brush for two minutes, twice a day to maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine.

4. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to hold it along the gum line, and then cover each tooth individually to achieve an all-over clean. If you are using a manual brush be sure to brush the inner, outer and biting surfaces of your teeth, brushing in a small circular motion.

5. Using mouthwash is a great way to finish off your oral hygiene routine, especially after flossing, the mouthwash acts as a disinfectant, helping to combat gingivitis and will get to all of those hard to reach areas, not to mention keeping your mouth fresher for longer!

It is advisable to pick an alcohol free mouthwash which will be gentle on your gums, especially if you have sensitive teeth. But choose one with fluoride in it to optimise plaque fighting throughout the day.

6. Always pick toothpaste that contains fluoride to avoid cavities and plaque build-up. If you find that toothpaste can irritate your gums, it may be that you have a reaction with sodium laurel sulphate, which is a foaming agent used in toothpastes that can also irritate the skin and gums. There are toothpastes on the market without this ingredient so it is worth investigating the options. If you have sensitive teeth, look out for strontium chloride in the ingredients list, after a period of time the ingredient actually plugs the holes in the tooth that allow cold air or acids to penetrate in to the nerves, causing the pain.

Finally, remember that it is important to have a good oral health routine, for a number of reasons, but high on the list is to avoid gum disease which can cause tooth loss, gum recession and even heart disease. By brushing correctly daily it will help to avoid plaque build-up, which will in turn help you avoid developing this problem, as well as help to avoid bad breath.  

If you are experiencing any problems or pains with your teeth, or they are bleeding, it is essential that you make an appointment with your dentist.

The London Smile Clinic offers private dental treatment for every budget. They specialise in cosmetic dentistry and were the first London practice to introduce the cutting edge teeth straightening technique Inman Aligner. A treatment which acts like braces but works in as little as six weeks. To find out more about it and their other services, visit


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