Toothpaste and dental hygiene : Guide to Toothpaste

Brushing the teeth is an important part of a dental hygiene routine and dentists advocate that you do this twice a day. But it is important that you use a correct technique in doing so.

This is not meant to be patronising or a case of ‘reinventing the wheel’. We all recognise the importance of brushing our teeth on a regular basis but may not realise that there is an optimum way of doing so.

What this section is designed for is to offer guidance or information about the importance of dental hygiene and how important it is to adopt good habits from an early age. So if you are a parent reading this who is teaching your child to brush their teeth then we hope that this will provide a bit of extra advice.

Dental hygiene routine

This is something we can all do from a very young age. This includes brushing the teeth, using dental floss and rinsing out the mouth with a mouthwash.

Adopting a routine such as this will help protect you against tooth decay and gum disease but it is still important to see your dentist on a regular basis. Continue with your twice yearly check ups as these are vital for spotting any problems in their early stages.

The combination of a hygiene routine and visits to your dentist will ensure that your teeth have maximum protection.

We do have a separate dental hygiene guide but here is a suggested dental hygiene routine – in summary:


  • Apply a layer of your chosen toothpaste to a toothbrush. Use a smaller amount for children. Choose a fluoride toothpaste.
  • There are a wide range of novelty toothbrushes which are designed for children. They are usually in the shape of their favourite cartoon or TV character and can add an element of fun to the process.
  • Work the toothbrush around the teeth in a series of short, gentle strokes. Make sure that you clean the inner and outside areas of all your teeth including the hard-to-reach teeth at the back of your mouth.
  • Start with the upper teeth and then move to the lower teeth. Then clean your front teeth.
  • Don’t forget to lightly brush your tongue as this will remove any food debris and bacteria. Another option is to use a tongue scraper. 

Spend at least two to three minutes doing this. You have a choice between an ordinary ‘manual’ toothbrush and the more expensive electric toothbrush. Some people find that an electric toothbrush is more effective than a manual brush and can be as effective as those brushes used by your dentist.

However, manual toothbrushes are more flexible and cheaper!


This is another good habit to adopt. Do this as soon as you have brushed your teeth. Take a length of dental floss and insert this between your teeth. Using a series of up and down motions, use this to remove trapped food particles and plaque between your teeth.

For more information on flossing visit our complete guide to dental floss.


You can use water but a mouthwash is even better as it not only rinses away debris which has been dislodged by brushing and flossing; it also protects your teeth against decay.

They also keep your breath nice and fresh.

These are discussed in more detail in our complete guide to mouthwashes.

Dental check ups

Continue to visit your dentist for a twice yearly check up. Even though you can prevent most dental problems by following a routine it is still important to visit your dentist as he/she can detect any problems whilst still in the early stages.

It is also a good idea to have a professional clean or a ‘scale and polish’ on a regular basis as well. This will remove any stains that a toothbrush is unable to as well as ensuring that your teeth look clean and bright.

Toothpaste forms an important part of any dental hygiene routine. The type of paste or gel you use is entirely up to you but you will find that some types of toothpaste suit you more than others. Some types of toothpaste, for example teeth whitening toothpaste can be quite harsh on the teeth and may do more harm then good.

If you are thinking about using a teeth whitening toothpaste than speak to your dentist first as he/she will be able to best advise you in this aspect. He or she will know which toothpaste is right for your teeth and which isn’t.

Various types of toothpaste are discussed in greater detail in the next section.

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved