How effective is your approach to cleaning your teeth? While in some ways that is going to boil down to the technique that you use – it is also equally important that you’re covering all the bases. One way to be sure is by going over each item one by one in a checklist of sorts that will help you to ensure you’re being as thorough as you should be.

Key Items

To properly clean your teeth there are a few items that you’ll need. Some of these are really very basic, but it is important that you choose the right ones:

• Toothbrush
Find one that fits in your mouth well and can reach all the way to the back teeth. As a rule of thumb, always opt for soft bristles as opposed to hard ones.

• Toothpaste
The one thing to look for in toothpaste is that it has a fluoride content of 1,350 parts per million (ppm).

• Oral floss
Choosing between waxed and unwaxed floss is largely down to personal preference (though waxed floss can help with braces) and you should try both before deciding which to go with.

• Mouthwash
Not strictly ‘necessary’, but if you do opt for mouthwash then the main decision to make is whether to opt for alcohol-based and antibacterial mouthwash or not.

Daily Oral Hygiene Regimen

Once you have all the essential items that you need, it is a question of applying them as part of your daily oral hygiene regimen. That should consist of:

• Flossing before brushing
Be thorough and make sure you cover all the spaces between your teeth when you floss. Proper technique helps, and developing a systematic routine that you can follow would be best so that you get used to it and can rely on it to be thorough.

• Brushing at least twice a day
It is recommended that you brush thoroughly for at least two to three minutes at least twice a day. Ideally that should be in the morning and the evening, but there is some room to adjust it according to your daily schedule. If you have trouble reaching any part of your teeth then you may need to try a different brush, or change your technique.

• Use mouthwash after meals
Assuming you do choose to use mouthwash, there’s no real need to use it after brushing. Instead, you would be better off using it after meals to tide you over until your next brush. For anyone with bad breath, using antibacterial mouthwash after meals and before sleeping could make a big difference.

Aside from all that, you should also be sure to also go for a regular checkup once every six months. You should certainly visit a dentist for your regular checkup and to get any advice or treatment that you may require. Think of your regular dental checkup as a ‘status report’ that will let you know where you stand and whether or not there’s any reason for concern.