How to take care of your teeth

Mum and daughter cleaning teeth

Oral health is a vital part of personal wellbeing, and getting into good habits early in life can make all the difference later on. As Mumsnet users say, “You only get two sets of teeth and the second one needs to last you 70-odd years.”

For that reason, we've teamed up with Listerine to find out how Mumsnet users keep their teeth healthy and their smiles sparkling

Go electric

Go electric

Mumsnet users really do swear by their electric toothbrushes. There’s no denying that they remove more plaque than manual brushes and many come with useful extra brushes that help you get your teeth extra clean.

“I love my electric toothbrush. I also use the tiny flossing brushes and mouthwash. You only get one set of adult teeth after all.”

“I brush twice a day using my electric toothbrush. I often then follow up with teepee picks or interdental brushes.”

Two-minute rule

Two-minute rule

Whether it's first thing in the morning or last thing at night, brushing your teeth can be a time for calm contemplation (aka staring into space), so a brush that keeps track of time for you, and lets you know when to stop, is a worthwhile investment.

“I rely on my electric toothbrush to let me know when the two minutes are up. I also have a normal non-electric toothbrush so that I can give my tongue a good brush.”

Mouthwash moments

Mouthwash moments

Not all Mumsnet users incorporate mouthwash into their daily routine but those that do are hooked on the extra freshness and added oral care benefits.

“I have natural gaps in my teeth so food gets stuck. I use a mouthwash after brushing and rinsing to wash out my mouth as I like it to taste and smell nice. I do like Listerine, it seems nicer somehow than other makes.”

Get into good habits

Get into good habits

It can be difficult at first, but once you get into the habit of flossing you’ll feel the benefits and it'll become an automatic part of your routine.

“Making a mental note to add in flossing twice a day as I am very bad at it. Just had my twice yearly scale and polish, so I'm planning on taking extra care on brushing.”

“I started flossing and now I'm hooked. It's as much a part of my bedtime routine as washing my face. My top tip is to use expanding floss which really gets everything out.”

Find the right care for you

Find the right care for you

Every mouth is different and what works for one Mumsnet user won’t always work for another. So consult your dentist and find the right toothpaste, toothbrush and whatever else you need to stock up the bathroom cabinet with.

“I have an incredibly sensitive mouth and I react to many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash. I use sensitive toothpaste normally, as my teeth are sensitive and I know it doesn't cause a reaction. I use a very soft brush as my dentist said I have slightly receding gums.“

Don't fear the dentist

Don't fear the dentist

People fear dentists for many reasons – pain, judgement, bad news. But there really is more to fear from not going and, once you start, you'll be so glad you did – trust us.

“I used to be terrified of dentists, but by having to go constantly for my braces the fear has gone completely – I actually look forward to a scale and polish now.”

“I am terrified of the dentist after a painful clean years ago. My anxiety just gets worse, but I do make myself go – I don't want false teeth!”

Make it fun for the kids

Make it fun for the kids

If children get into good oral care habits early on in life, it could save them from developing problems later on. One way to ensure those good habits is to make brushing fun. On the other hand, you might just need to keep on at them…

“My top tip for helping babies brush is to make it fun. We have a little song we've made up and she also likes to help me brush by holding the electric toothbrush for me.”

“I always supervised the children brushing when they were younger and thought I'd be able to stop reminding them as teenagers, but I still have to prompt.”

Take your toothbrush to work

Take your toothbrush to work

Taking care of your pearly whites needn’t be confined to the home. You could, if you want to be really rigorous, keep another set of brushes and mouthwash at work or in your bag…

“I use interdental brushes, then floss, then mouthwash, then brush with my electric toothbrush, morning and night. I keep mouthwash and interdental brushes in my desk at work to freshen up after lunch.”

Hear from Listerine

LISTERINE® is the number one mouthwash brand* in Great Britain. While brushing does help to take care of your oral health, brushing just your teeth only targets 25% of your mouth*²; LISTERINE® mouthwash targets virtually 100%. The LISTERINE® formula is made from four essential oils*³ that combine to pack a powerful punch against hard-to-reach plaque and germs that can cause bad breath.


*Source ©2019 Nielsen data, value and unit share, Mouthwash (client defined) 52 w/e 04.05.19 GB Total Coverage. If you need any more information, you can call 0808 238 9999 or visit the customer care website.

*² From study representing teeth surface area measurements

*³ Excludes: Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment, Listerine Advanced Defence Sensitive, Listerine Advanced White and Listerine Go! Tabs. UK/LI/19-13725d