Did you know that only 20% of the population brush their teeth the right way? Thorough dental cleansing takes approx. 5 minutes. How is it that brushing helps an individual so much? Brushing teeth is an integral part of dental hygiene, and even though it is the aspect most people are familiar with, there are tips that can make it even more effective.
Properly brushing teeth can help prevent gingivitis, cavities, and gum disease, as well as reducing the build-up of tartar. Brushing one’s teeth is best accompanied by a regimen of daily flossing, as well as regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and check-ups. Learning proper brushing technique will ensure optimum gum and dental health, and help stave off the loss of teeth or serious medical problems as oral health is a window to overall health of our body. About 1 person in 10 has a tendency to accumulate tartar quickly. Tartar is plaque in a hardened form that is more damaging and difficult to remove. Solution to all this is just simple “Brushing”.
Tips on Proper Brushing for Grown-ups
- Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gumline. Gently brush from where the tooth and gum meet the chewing surface in short strokes. Brushing too hard can cause receding gums, tooth sensitivity, and, over time, loose teeth.
- Divide your brushing routine into sections instead of attempting to tackle all areas of your mouth at once. Be sure to gently brush your tongue, which helps to remove bacteria and freshen your breath, and your gums.
- Clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth by using short sweeping strokes, tipping the bristles into the pits and crevices.
- To clean the inside surfaces of your top and bottom front teeth and gums, hold the brush almost vertical. With back and forth motions bring the front part of the brush over the teeth and gums.
- Using a forward-sweeping motion, gently brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove the decay-causing bacteria that exist in these places.
- Play a favorite song but brush for full 2 to 3 minutes. Some electronic toothbrushes have timers that let you know when 2 minutes are up.
- Use right kind of bristles for right kind of use(soft, medium and hard bristles)
- The IDA recommends that patients also supplement brushing with a fluoride mouth rinse. The use of fluoride can decrease bacterial count and reduce the occurrence of plaque.
- Replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear or every three months. It is also important that you change your toothbrush after you have had a cold since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to infection.
Special Brushing Tips for Toddlers
- Letting them brush their teeth at the same time
- Letting them pick out a few toothbrushes with his favorite characters and giving him a choice of which one he wants to use each let him brush his own teeth
- We can include getting a dentist kit that he can play racing with or read some children's books about tooth brushing, to help them understand the importance of brushing to make it interesting and entertaining.
- Use a very small pea size amount of toothpaste. Swallowing too much toothpaste with fluoride can lead to staining of the teeth (fluorosis).
*Inputs by Dr.Karishma Jaradi, Aesthetic Dentist, Dentzz Dental Care Centers.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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