Brushing

BRUSHING TECHNIQUE

The following BRUSHING TECHNIQUE is commonly recommended by dentists. You should see your dentist to ensure that you are using a technique that meets your needs.

image0011.gif Use a soft bristled brush (synthetic bristles preferably because natural bristles tend to harbour the oral bacteria as the bristles are more porous). Be sure it is the right size (generally smaller is better than larger). Place the bristles at a 45 degree angle to the teeth. Slide the tips of the brush under the gums.
image002.gif Jiggle the bristles very gently so that any plaque growing under the gum will be removed. Be sure to brush the outside, the tongue side and the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
image003.gif For the front teeth, brush the inside surfaces of the upper and lower jaws by tilting the brush vertically and making several up and down strokes with the front part of the brush over the teeth and gum tissues.

Brushing your tongue will help freshen your breath. Debris and bacteria can collect on your tongue and cause bad breath. Your toothbrush will only clean one or two teeth at a time. Change its position to properly clean each tooth. To prevent plaque damage, be sure to brush at least once every day,preferably at bedtime. Adding a brush time after breakfast increases your chances of thorough daily plaque removal. Don’t rush your brush. A thorough brushing should take at least 3 minutes. Brushing the teeth too vigorously or using a hard bristled toothbrush causes the gums to recede and exposes root surfaces. It also wears down the tooth structure. Both of these conditions can lead to tooth sensitivity. A pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste is all you need, should you choose to use a toothpaste.Replace your brush when the bristles begin to spread. A worn out toothbrush will not properly clean your teeth.

How Do I Choose And Use A Toothbrush?

Angled heads, raised bristles, oscillating tufts and handles that change colors with use: you name it, toothbrushes come in all shapes, colors and sizes, promising to perform better than the rest. But no body of scientific evidence exists yet to show that any one type of toothbrush design is better at removing plaque than another. The only thing that matters is that you brush your teeth. Many just don’t brush long enough. Most people brush less than a minute, but to effectively reach all areas and scrub off cavity-causing bacteria, it is recommended to brush for two to three minutes.

Which toothbrush is best?

In general, a toothbrush head should be small (1″ by 1/2″) for easy access to all areas of the mouth, teeth and gums. It should have a long, wide handle for a firm grasp. It should have soft nylon bristles with rounded ends so you won’t hurt your gums.

When should I change my toothbrush?

Be sure to change your toothbrush, or toothbrush head (if you’re using an electric toothbrush) before the bristles become splayed and frayed. Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective, but they may harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infection such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months. Sick people should change their toothbrush at the beginning of an illness and after they feel better.

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Is it important to brush before going to bed?

Yes. If you have to miss a brushing, the bedtime one is probably the worst one to miss. If you don’t get rid of the bacteria and sugar that cause cavities, they have all night to do harm. While you are awake, saliva helps keep the mouth clean. When you are asleep, there is less saliva produced to clean the mouth. For this reason it is important to brush before bedtime.

How do I brush my child’s teeth?

Every day plaque forms on the inner, outer, and chewing surface of teeth and the gums. Tooth brushing is one of the most effective ways to remove the plaque. The best kind of toothbrush to use is one with soft, round-tipped bristles. A child will need a smaller brush than an adult. Young children do not have the manual dexterity to brush properly. Your child will need your supervision and help brushing until he or she is 8-10 years old to ensure a thorough brushing has been done. When the bristles become bent or frayed, a new brush is needed. Tooth brushing will remove dental plaque and other debris from your teeth.Plaque plays a primary role in oral disease such as tooth decay and gum disease. The best way to remove plaque from the tooth surface on a daily home care basis is through tooth brushing and some form of “between the teeth” cleaning.

Is your toothbrush making you sick?

Next time you load up on cough medicine and sinus pills, preparing for the onslaught of another cold, add a new toothbrush to your shopping list. Germs left on your toothbrush can cause recurring colds and sore throats. To avoid catching the same cold over and over again, change toothbrushes at the first sign of a cold and change again when you regain your health. Germs thrive in dense toothbrushes, especially those with soft bristles, and not surprisingly, they also linger on toothbrush handles. Viruses can survive for several days on a handle that’s opaque or tinted, whereas a clear handle kills them faster with its ability to let light pass through.

ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSHES

Electric toothbrushes generally work by using tufts of nylon bristles to stimulate gums and clean teeth in an oscillating or rotary motion. Some tufts are arranged in a circular pattern, while others have the traditional shape of several bristles lined up on a row. When first using an electric toothbrush, expect some bleeding from your gums. The bleeding will stop when you learn to control the brush and your gums become healthier. Children under 10 should be supervised when using an electric toothbrush. Avoid mashing the tufts against your teeth in an effort to clean them. Use light force and slow movements, and allow the electric bristle action to do its job.

Power vs Manual Toothbrushes

It is important to remember to brush for a full two minutes twice a day whether it is with and power or manual toothbrush, and don’t forget to floss.

Manual toothbrushes remove an average of only 50% of plaque from smooth tooth surfaces and even less from between teeth. Studies have proved that using a power toothbrush will:

  • Cause a significant reduction in plaque of adults and children
  • Reduce brushing force you need to apply during brushing to reduce gum recession.
  • Reduce gingival bleeding.
  • People tend to brush longer with a power toothbrush.
  • Two thirds of children studied preferred a power toothbrush due to the smaller brush head, easier to reach all areas of their mouth and the repetitive movement of the brush.
  • They automatically confer good brushing technique.
  • Decreased gingivitis
  • Improve compliance.

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Electric toothbrushes are very beneficial in the following areas:

  • You lack the manual dexterity or have any disability that limits your ability to brush
  • You have braces; an electric toothbrush may reach crevices you can’t otherwise clean.
  • Children due to the smaller brush head and easier to reach all areas of their mouth.
  • You love gadgets and would really brush longer if you had a built-in timer featured on some models.
  • Your are trying to encourage a child to brush and the novelty of a power tool would help.
  • You scrub too vigorously with a regular brush and need a tool that will help you limit the force you can apply.
  • You have a periodontal disease and your dentist advises using a power tool.
  • Gum recession, using an electronic toothbrush helps control over zealous brushing.

USER TIPS FOR POWER TOOTHBRUSHES

  • Relax your electric toothbrush will do most of the work for you so you can apply 50% less pressure than with a manual brush. You can do this by using a three finger grip to lessen the pressure.
  • Slowly move the brush from tooth to tooth at a 30 to 40 degree angle for about 2 seconds on each tooth or divide your mouth into 4 sections and brush each section “quadrant” for 30 seconds.
  • Brush for at least 2 minutes making sure to reach way in the back where the molars are and inside (tongue) side of your teeth
  • Replace your brush head at least every 6 months or sooner. A worn out head may reduce your brush’s effectiveness.
  • At least once a week, remove your brush head from the handle and rinse and clean it thoroughly and always clean your brush head after each use.