Daily mouth care is for everyone

By supporting daily care of teeth and gums you help a person to keep their mouth and body healthy.

Caring for natural teeth

Brush teeth and along the gum line twice a day.

  • If possible, brush teeth in the morning and at night before going to bed.
  • Brushing stops plaque from building up on teeth and gums. Plaque build-up can lead to gum disease.
  • Brushing along the gum line is really important.
  • Brush gently in small circles.
  • People with no teeth, or with dentures, still need to brush their gums daily to remove plaque and pieces of food.

Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.

  • Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles (hard bristles can damage the gum).
  • Fluoride in toothpaste can help to protect against tooth decay.
  • Some people don’t like the taste of standard toothpaste. There are a range of toothpastes you can try; low flavour, low foaming, etc. These are available at many chemists. You could also ask an oral health professional to suggest a product.
  • If it’s not possible to use toothpaste, brush with (tap) water.

After brushing, spit out toothpaste but don’t rinse with water.

  • The little bit of the fluoride left in the mouth from the toothpaste can help to protect against tooth decay.

Caring for dentures

Brush dentures with mild soap and water every day.

  • Brush dentures over a towel or basin filled with water to protect them from damage if they are dropped.
  • Use a mild liquid or foam soap or special denture cleaning paste.
  • Brush all surfaces well.
  • Don’t use regular toothpaste to clean dentures as it can scratch them.
  • Take dentures out after each meal and rinse dentures and mouth with water.

Also brush gums and tongue morning and night with a soft toothbrush.

  • Plaque build up needs to be brushed off the gums, dentures and other parts of the mouth.
  • Brushing away plaque is important for preventing gum disease.

Gums need time to rest.

  • Clean dentures at night before going to bed.
  • Keep cleaned dentures in a cup of fresh cold water, or in a clean dry container overnight.
  • Rinse in fresh cold water before putting back into the mouth.

No natural teeth, no dentures

Brush gums and tongue morning and night with a soft toothbrush.

  • Plaque can build up on the gums and other parts of the mouth.
  • Brushing away plaque is important for preventing gum disease.
  • Brush gently in small circles.

Nil by mouth

People who receive nil by mouth should brush teeth, gums and the tongue, twice a day.

  • People who receive nil by mouth have a greater risk of tartar build-up.
  • Tartar build-up can lead to gum disease.
  • Poor oral health for people who receive nil by mouth can lead to lung infections if plaque in the mouth gets into the lungs.

Make a care plan with an oral health professional.

  • It is really important for people who receive nil by mouth to discuss their mouth care needs with an oral health professional.
  • The oral health professional may say to:
  • Gently wipe all surfaces of the gum, inside the cheeks and under the tongue
  • Gently brush teeth using only a little water
  • Use a suction toothbrush
  • Make sure any instructions go into in the person’s oral health care plan or other health file.