Cleaning our teeth – clean all over

Often, we hurry over our teeth, our minds elsewhere, allowing ourselves to be fooled by the feeling of freshness of the toothpaste.  This has consequences: hidden deposits, especially between the teeth, which lead to a disturbance of the enamel in time.  Caries is the result.

Check test: really clean, or not? Every now and again adults should try something that kids find fun: colouration tablets.  First you clean your teeth, and then you chew a special colouration tablet (available from pharmacies).  Wherever deposits remain they will take on a colour (e.g. blue).  Whatever can be removed with one’s tongue is coloured saliva, what remains attached to the teeth are deposits, which haven’t been removed by brushing.  These will have to be re-done.

The right toothbrush

When buying a toothbrush, the following points should be observed:

  • Choose a brush with level, plastic bristles with round tips, so as not to injure the gums.
  • Avoid brushes with natural bristles – bacteria may gather and multiply in them more easily.
  • When the bristles appear to be “frayed”  it’s time to get a new brush.  You should do this every 2-3 months in any case.
  • Choose a brush with soft or medium bristles.
  • Specially shaped toothbrushes, which are often recommended, such as with moveable, bendy heads or different levels of bristles are not necessary.
  • Do you own an electric toothbrush?  These can also clean thoroughly.  Change the brush-head from time to time, just as you would a normal toothbrush.

The right toothpaste

When buying toothpaste, there isn’t much that can go wrong.  Make sure that the toothpaste contains fluoride, as additional protection from caries.  There are however surfaces which a toothbrush can’t reach.  For these there are special cleaning aids.

Cleaning aids

These include mouth washers, dental floss, toothpicks, mouth rinses and interdontal brushes.  Don’t worry, just one of these aids is usually enough to use in addition to a toothbrush.  The question of which is best for you can best be answered by your dentist or dental nurse.

The correct cleaning technique


A toothbrush is merely a tool in your hands.  It can only clean teeth where it is directed.  So make sure you clean systematically.  Do not only think about the front teeth but also about the back teeth, which are used to grind food down.  Be aware that each tooth has several surfaces – something which can be forgotten all too easily.  Clean the difficult areas first.  The longer you take to clean your teeth the more your enthusiasm for the job declines, so leave the easier areas for the last.  Start with the inner surfaces of the lower and upper jaws, then go on to the outer surfaces and end with the chewing surfaces.  Inflamed gums may bleed a lot at first sometimes but please ensure to go on brushing.  An evening cleaning routine may look like this: mouth wash, brush the teeth, check with a plaque tablet and end with a mouth rinse which contains fluoride.  Don’t worry, when you get used to the procedures it’ll only take five minutes to clean your teeth thoroughly.


This post is also available in: German

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