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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsI'm here today in the dental surgery to learn how to brush my teeth. And I'm joined by Jill, a dental hygienist. So hi, Jill. Hi, Chris, how are you? Not bad, thanks. I've brought my toothbrush along as instructed. Is this the one that you use every day? Yes it is, yes. Going to just ask you a couple of quick questions. If you were going to clean a small cupboard or a small wardrobe, would you use a big brush or a small brush? A small brush. Why would you do that? So I can get in all the corners and the nooks and crannies. If you think about the mouth, you've got cheeks. You've got lips. You've got the tongue.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 secondsBut you're using a huge sweeping brush to try and get in there. So I think we need to look at a smaller toothbrush for you to do that. OK. Would you say it's a hard one or a soft one that? It's quite hard, I think. Yeah. Again, another way to look at it, if you've got a patio with flagstones, nooks and crannies, and you've got a hard broom, what do the bristles of the hard broom do? Oh, they're just going to go over the top, aren't they? Yeah. And now we think about the teeth. We've got one tooth. We've got another tooth. We've got little indentations. We need to get in there.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 secondsSo I'll just have a quick feel of it and see if it's a hard or a soft one. OK.

Skip to 1 minute and 33 secondsThose bristles are really too stiff. They're going to cause damage to the teeth and the gums if you use those over a length of time. So I think the best thing is let's get rid of that brush and start again. OK. I've had a look around your mouth, and I've noticed what's happening is that you're tending to leave plaque along the gum or gingival margin. Nice. All right, so what we need to do is get you down to clean those areas. If you're cleaning your mouth absolutely fantastically already, I wouldn't change your brushing habits. But because you're leaving plaque, I just need to adapt to what you're already doing. OK. So, I've got the model here. Right.

Skip to 2 minutes and 12 secondsAnd a small-headed toothbrush, if you just have a feel of that. Oh, that is softer, yeah. So that's going to go in the nooks and crannies. OK. So these are your lower teeth. So we're going to put the toothbrush on. And then we're just going to tilt it slightly downwards. OK, yep. So what's happening now are the bristles are pointing toward the gingiva, the gums. And then we're just going to do little rotations covering a couple of teeth at a time. And just work your way slowly all the way around.

Skip to 2 minutes and 56 secondsDon't forget the inside, again. If we put the toothbrush in and it's just flat, we hit the teeth, but we don't actually, if we do that there, we don't actually get down to the bottoms of the teeth. Nice. If we tilt it, those bristles drop down to get right down to the gingiva. So the angle of the brush is really important. They say about 45 degrees, but just get practising. Put the toothbrush in, and angle it slightly downwards, and again, just little circles. When you come to this area here, if you can't get the toothbrush across, you can turn it upwards like that. But don't forget to carry on around there.

Skip to 3 minutes and 36 secondsDon't forget the biting surfaces as well, the occlusal surface. Right. Top ones, just the opposite. Right, OK. Toothbrush in, and tilt it slightly upwards. 45 degrees. So remember, it's up on the up ones and down on the down ones to get your angle right. And again, just little circles. So what I want to do now is demonstrate that in your mouth so that you know what it feels like. Right. So I'll hand you the mirror. Thank you. Let's get some gloves.

Skip to 4 minutes and 21 secondsI've got you a nice toothbrush to take away.

Skip to 4 minutes and 29 secondsSo if you hang on to that one. Thank you.

Skip to 4 minutes and 36 secondsSo remember what we've done on the model. And if you can try and put it in how you think it needs to go in. OK, so I'm going to start with the lower first. And I'll do the outside first. You can start wherever you like. And I'm going to go at 45 degrees pointing at the gum. Mm-hmm. OK, so that should be in like that. So we're just going to get that angle nice and right, and then we're just going to do little circles. Can you feel that that's now brushing on the gingival margin, that gum margin? Yeah, I can feel it poking into the gum, yeah. We don't do it hard.

Skip to 5 minutes and 8 secondsWe do it nice and gently a nice and soft, nice and slowly. Remember, don't forget the corners, because your mouth isn't square. So you've got to take it round the horse- shoe shape. OK. How's it feeling? It does feel different to what I normally do because you can feel it on the gums, as you say. So that is, yeah-- At first, you might find that there's a little bit of bleeding. Right. Don't worry. It's just that normally you're not getting down there. Plaque is full of bacteria, and this irritates the gums. So it's nothing to worry about at first. OK, thank you. They will improve if you carry on with this brushing technique.

Skip to 5 minutes and 51 secondsDon't forget to do the biting surface, the occlusal surface. And then how about the top ones. That's it. And then the top one is the same but pointing upwards. That's it. Nice.

Skip to 6 minutes and 7 secondsAnd then [? down. ?] Absolutely great, I think you'll be fine with that now. Thank you very much.

How to brush like a pro!

In this video Chris attends the dental surgery to meet Jill Rushforth, a dental hygienist, to learn how to brush his teeth according to the advice recommended by oral health educators. You’ll see not only the recommended technique, but also the role of the dental hygienist.

Don’t worry about the details too much as we’ve put together a written summary with more information in the next step of the course.

In addition to the support from the Discover Dentistry team this week, Dental Hygienist Jill Rushforth will answer as many questions as she can on the issues raised in this video on Tuesday 7th July. Jill will look out for questions that are most popular so if you spot a question from another learner that you are interested in, make sure you use the ‘like’ button.

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This video is from the free online course:

Discover Dentistry

The University of Sheffield