All Posts tagged flossing

Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Should Avoid!

Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Should Avoid!

Brushing your teeth is great for keeping your mouth clean, fresh and healthy. But here at Somerset Dental Care, we hear about lots of tooth brushing mistakes and mishaps that should be avoided.

Below, we outline what you should and shouldn’t be doing when you pick up your toothbrush!

Mistake 1. Brushing Too Quickly

Are you in and out of your brushing routine within less than 60 seconds? If so, you’re brushing too quickly. You should spend at least 2-3 minutes brushing each time. If you’re unsure how long you are brushing for, use a clock or timer!

Mistake 2. Not Brushing Twice a Day

The Australian Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least 2 times per day – morning (after breakfast) and night (before you got to bed). If you don’t brush regularly, your teeth and gums can become susceptible to decay and other diseases. As a result, you may end up requiring treatments like fillings, root canals and even teeth extractions.

Mistake 3. Brushing Too Hard

Brushing too hard is a common brushing mistake and can actually wear away your tooth enamel. You should be placing enough pressure on your brush to effectively wipe away the grime on your teeth, but not so hard that it causes pain, soreness or bleeding.

Mistake 4. Using the Wrong Toothbrush

Is your toothbrush right for your mouth? Remember, your brush should fit easily inside your mouth and should be able to reach all your teeth and gum areas. In terms of bristles, choose a brush that is soft yet firm and that won’t damage your teeth and gums. If you’re unsure, ask your dentist to recommend a brush.

Mistake 5. Using Incorrect Brush Strokes

You might be brushing regularly, but brushing the wrong way can also harm your teeth. Brushing correctly means holding your brush at a 45° angle against your teeth/gums and using vertical or circular strokes. Avoid horizontal brushing strokes, as these can damage your teeth/gums and wear away enamel.

Mistake 6. Forgetting Fluoride

Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride! Fluoride is essential for oral health and helps to build up enamel and prevent decay. If you use whitening toothpaste for your teeth, ensure that it also has the right level of fluoride. Drinking tap water (especially for children) is also great, since it also contains fluoride.

Mistake 7. Ignoring Inner Tooth Surfaces

Forgetting to brush the inner surfaces of your teeth is a big mistake! These are the areas that your tongue presses against and plenty of bacteria and plaque can accumulate here. Make sure you brush the inner sides of all your teeth, including the teeth right at the front of your mouth!

Mistake 8. Failing to Floss

Flossing with quality floss is a vital part of the teeth cleaning process – leaving this out is a huge oral blooper! Make sure you floss before you brush, especially after you’ve been eating. If you’re unsure about how to floss, ask your dentist to show you or read our article on flossing here.

Mistake 9. Not Cleaning the Brush

Dirty brushes can breed bacteria and other germs, meaning you’ll be putting these back into your mouth the next time you brush. Yuck! Make sure you rinse your brush thoroughly after you use it and ensure it dries fully before using it again.

Mistake 10. Using an Oldie

Old toothbrushes (that look like a scruffy pet) won’t do a good teeth-cleaning job, simply because the bristles have become to worn and soft. You should replace your toothbrush about every 3 months or as soon as the bristles appear bent and frayed.

Somerset Dental Care is dedicated to making sure your teeth are the best they can be! Book an appointment with us today on 02 4648 0909 or email us here.


Airflossing, Waterpik or Manual Flossing: What’s best?

Airflossing, Waterpik or Manual Flossing: What’s best?

It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene on a daily basis as it helps to prevent tooth and mouth ailments including cavities and gum disease which can lead to tooth loss. In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day it’s vital that you get in the habit of flossing your teeth as it’s the best way to remove trapped food between the teeth and stops the film of bacteria on your teeth forming and hardening into plaque. For some people manual flossing is not something they enjoy incorporating into their dental care routine. Fortunately there are other methods available that are able to do a similar job, but are they as effective?

Airflossing: What is it?

Airflossing is a hand-held device that uses compressed air and micro-droplets of water, also know as micro-burst technology to clean in between teeth. The air and water combination helps to remove plaque and because the air and water is distributed in rapid bursts it’s also able to remove the biofilm between the teeth, in the same way manual flossing does. Airflossing is a good method for people who don’t like to manually floss and you can even use mouthwash instead of water.


  • Easy to use
  • A good solution for people who wear braces or dental bridges
  • Is able to remove plaque whilst being gentle on teeth and gums


  • It’s not able to remove large pieces of food caught between teeth
  • It can be quite expensive
  • It’s not as effective in maintaining gum health compared to other methods.

Waterpik: What is it?

A Waterpik is what’s known as a water flosser or oral irrigator which removes plaque and prevents tartar in the gum pockets. It works by jetting streams of water at your teeth to remove food particles. A Waterpik is also a good option for people who already have gum disease because it flushes out bacteria from the pockets where the gum pulls away from the teeth. It’s also effective for people who wear braces because the Waterpik is able to get behind the metal wires.


  • Good for cleaning the inter dental spaces and gum pockets
  • Effective for people with gum or periodontal disease
  • Gentle on gums and less likely to cause bleeding, so is good for people with sensitive gums


  • Can take up lots of space
  • Can be messy to use
  • Is less effective at removing plaque as well as floss

Manual Flossing: What is it?

If you don’t know what manual flossing is, it’s best not to tell your dentist! Dental floss is thin strips of fibre that comes in a variety of options which is then used in a sawing motion to clean in between teeth. It’s a very effective way to disrupt and remove plaque from forming between teeth. It’s also one of the best ways to prevent gum disease.


  • Inexpensive way to keep teeth and gums healthy
  • Effective for cleaning small spaces between teeth
  • Can reduce gum disease and halitosis, or bad breath


  • Can be abrasive for people who have sensitive teeth
  • Difficult for people to use if they have braces or dental bridges
  • Many people find it boring and therefore don’t floss regularly


Tooth brushing alone, even regularly, is not enough to prevent things such as cavities and gum disease from occurring so it’s vital that you include other methods in your daily dental health routine. While all these technologies have their pros and cons, it’s important to identify which one you would actually use on a regular basis as well as which method would be right for you based on your needs.

If you’d like to know more or are experiencing any issues with your teeth, our friendly Narellan dentists are available 6 days a week (Mon-Sat), with quick appointments available for patients with severe tooth pain or problems.
Contact our clinic on 02 4648 0909 or [email protected]


Learning How to Floss the Right Way

Learning How to Floss the Right Way

Why Do We Need to Floss?

Did you know that forgetting to floss means that 40% of your mouth is left uncleaned each day?

Flossing your teeth once a day is crucial in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Flossing cleans in between your teeth and under your gumline, which are important areas of your mouth that your toothbrush can’t reach.

If you don’t floss regularly, you are placing your teeth and gums at a much higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to teeth extractions, root canal treatments, crowns and bridges and even false teeth.

What’s the Right Way to Floss?

To floss your teeth effectively, follow these steps:

  • Break off around 45cm of floss (30cm for children) and wind the ends around your middle or index fingers until around 3cm of floss is left in the middle
  • Pull the floss tight between your fingers and slide it gently between your teeth
  • Next, curve the floss around the base of one tooth so that it moves underneath the gumline; then, gently pull the floss back and forth like a saw; repeat the same process on the other side/other tooth
  • To remove the floss from your teeth, tug the floss carefully back and forth while lifting upwards/downwards; then move onto the next gap between your teeth

When to Floss?

Flossing can be done at any time of the day, but most people choose to floss at night, when brushing their teeth before bed.

Choosing the Right Floss

Since different people have different gap sizes between their teeth, many different flosses have been created for different teeth and mouths.
You should choose the floss that is right for you; the floss should fit comfortably between your teeth and should be able to be removed without needing to be harshly pulled.

Waxed floss is great if your teeth are quite tight together, as the wax will make it easier to slide the floss between your teeth. Unwaxed floss, dental tape and super floss are all ideal for those with larger gaps between their teeth.

If you find your floss is continually getting stuck between your teeth, for instance, a thinner, waxed floss may be more beneficial. If your floss is not removing food that you can see between your teeth, try using unwaxed floss or dental tape.

Other Flossing Tools

Prefer not to use your fingers when flossing? You can also buy a dental flosser or a flossing pick, which allows you to floss using a device with a handle, similar to a toothbrush. For those with braces, bridges, crowns or other dental implants, you may find that a threading floss is best.

Other Flossing Tips

  • It’s important to be gentle when flossing; don’t yank or force the floss, as this may hurt or bruise your gums
  • If you notice food on your floss, make sure you clean and remove it before re-using that portion of floss
  • Children should start flossing as soon as any two of their teeth touch each other; if your child is resistant to learning to floss, consider seeking help from your family dentist

Do you floss daily?

Somerset Dental can provide you with advice on whether you are flossing properly, as well as conduct regular checkups and cleans. Contact our local Camden and Narellan dentists on 02 4648 0909.