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Many people are confused as to which of the dozens of brushes available on the Supermarket shelves they should buy. Our advice - Don't buy cheap! Use a good nylon densely packed head of soft to medium filaments (never a 'hard' bristle brush).

Use a small pea-sized amount of good fluoride toothpaste. Aim the bristles towards the gum margin and use a small circular action with a gentle pressure. Think of it more as massaging the gums rather than brushing the teeth. This circular action combined with the detergent in the paste will break up the plaque and allow it to wash away by rinsing with a little water, although de-sensitising toothpastes benefit from being left on the teeth for several minutes after brushing to allow them to have maximum effect.


Take a length of dental floss/dental tape about 30cm long, wrap the ends around your middle fingers until there is about 10cm between them. Turn your hands over so that the floss lies over the right thumb and left index finger leaving about 3 cm between them.

Guide the tape gently between the teeth using a slight sawing motion. Do not force the floss or try to 'twang' it between the teeth as this could injure your gums. Take the floss loosely under the gum and form a C shape against the tooth, apply a little pressure against the tooth and slide the floss towards the tip of the tooth, thus scraping the plaque off. Repeat this on the neighbouring tooth in the same space and continue around all of the teeth. As the floss becomes coated with plaque move onto a clean part.

Interdental or 'TePe' Brushes and 'Easy Picks'

Check with your hygienist or dentist as to which size of spiral brush or silicone 'EasyPick' you should be using. The bristles on the spiral must be big enough to apply pressure to the tooth surface and the gum 

Take the brush into the space at right angles to the teeth and use a 'twiddling' action to manoeuvre the brush into the space. Once in the space use a 'push-and-pull' action with light pressure on the gum. Initially with all these techniques you may experience some bleeding of the gums. This is due to the fact that you are getting to areas you have not reached before but the more often you do this, the less bleeding you will get until finally there will be no bleeding at all. At this point you can safely say that you have full control over your own gum health.

Interspace Brushes

This type of small brush is fantastic for removing plaque from inaccessible areas around the teeth. Very useful for getting under the gum flaps which form when your wisdom teeth come through. Can also be essential for kids to clean around their braces.

Oral Health Products

Spring Shaw Dental stocks all the dental care products you will need. Often we will advise a product suited to your particular needs.


Chlorohex: to treat and prevent gingivitis. A great aid when cleaning is difficult or there is an acute problem.

Peroxyl: used for the treatment of acute gum inflammation. Has mild bleaching effect which is ideal for following up dental bleaching.

Fluorigard: for the prevention of tooth decay, high caries rates, root decay, dry mouth.