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How to keep your teeth clean to maintain good oral health?

Posted by Maria Firdaus (Admin) 11 months ago

Oral health is crucial to overall wellness. Brushing your teeth removes plaque and bacteria that build on the teeth and around the gums. Plaque can cause cavities, tooth decay, and even periodontal disease if it isn't eliminated daily. Brushing your teeth regularly helps preserve your teeth from decay and infection.

Brushing your teeth, gums, and tongue properly is essential. The advice from NHS (1) is to brush your teeth twice a day (before bed and at least once more during the day) for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush using fluoride toothpaste. During your two-minute brushing session, make sure you brush the front, back, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Brush your tongue after brushing your teeth to remove bacteria.

Brushing your teeth before breakfast is the best time to do so, or wait 30 minutes to an hour after breakfast to avoid damaging the outer layer of your teeth (also known as tooth enamel). Brushing teeth as soon as you wake up helps to remove bacteria while also providing a protective layer on teeth, against acids in food. Drinking water or chewing sugar-free gum after eating and before brushing your teeth helps to reduce the bacteria in the mouth.(2) Your brush should be the right size and shape for your mouth, allowing you to comfortably reach all areas.

Brushing your teeth with hard bristles causes gum inflammation (for example, bleeding gums) (3). Brush your teeth in a back-and-forth motion as little as possible. A circle is the most effective design to use since it moves particles both horizontally and vertically between the teeth. Brush your teeth gently in slow circular motions to remove dental plaque from all surfaces. Maintaining a 45-degree angle between your toothbrush and your teeth is the best position for removing bacteria, plaque, and residual food from your mouth. Bacteria can hide on the inside of back molars, so pay extra care there. Brushing your teeth in a single direction might harm your gums and enamel. Brush softly and lightly to avoid irritating your gums.


1. How to keep your teeth clean [Internet]. 2018. Available from:

2. Richards D. Sugar free gum and streptococcus mutans levels - National Elf Service [Internet]. National Elf Service. 2021. Available from:

3. Donovan J. 8 Mistakes We Make Brushing Our Teeth [Internet]. WebMD. 2016. Available from: 

This post was edited on Feb 25, 2022 by Maria Firdaus

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