Brushing your teeth is the most important part of your dental hygiene routine. When combined with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing, it can provide an effective barrier against tooth decay and gum disease.
For optimum oral protection combine this with a healthy diet, an antiseptic mouthwash and regular visits to your dentist.
Brushing the teeth will remove any food deposits as well as plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky bacterial like substance that forms on the teeth; when this merges with sugars produced by the breaking down of our food then it can damage tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay.
Tartar is a hardening of plaque which has built up over a period of time. This hardening takes the form of a yellow mineral deposit which gives your teeth a rough surface. And it’s this rough surface which can prove to be an ideal breeding ground for even more plaque.
If tartar is formed below the gum line then it is can be a trigger for gingivitis and periodontal gum disease.
So this why tooth brushing is of vital importance: it can remove both of these as well as ensuring that your breath smells clean and fresh. The question is what is the best way of doing so?
Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day or after every meal. And, to follow this by flossing which will get rid of any particles of food lodged between the teeth.
Everyone has their own way of brushing their teeth but there are a few techniques available which can ensure that you get the best results possible. These are:
- Buy a soft or medium bristled toothbrush with a small head
- Use a small amount of a fluoride toothpaste
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle
- Make small, circular movements
- Don’t forget the difficult areas at the back of the mouth
- Brush the gum line as well as the teeth
- Clean your tongue (use a tongue scraper)
These all apply if you are using the traditional ‘manual’ toothbrush. This is available with hard, medium or soft bristles and is inexpensive when compared to the electric version.
A manual toothbrush is still an effective way of cleaning the teeth but many people prefer an electric toothbrush. They see this as more efficient way of doing so as well as requiring less effort from you!
If you are thinking of buying an electric toothbrush then read on…
Electric toothbrushes may sound like a recent invention but they have in fact been around for quite a long time. They are seen as a ‘high tech’ approach to teeth cleaning and are a very effective means of doing so.
They are designed to mimic the professional brushes used by your dentist for a dental clean.
The head of an electric toothbrush rotates at a thousands times per minute which means that it can plaque or food deposits without much effort from you. All you have to do is to position the brush over your teeth and guide it gently. It will do most of the work for you so don’t force it.
The main thing is to ensure that each tooth gets equal attention which includes the awkward ones at the far back of your mouth.
The thing to remember is to not press down too hard as you could damage the protective enamel of your teeth as well as your gums. And try not to spend too long doing so, which equally applies to a manual toothbrush.
You may find that your particular brand of toothbrush has a setting which tells when to stop brushing.
As you can imagine there are several different brands of electric toothbrush which vary in build and appearance. Some models can tell you how much pressure you are using whereas others will tell you want to stop.
When it comes to cost, you will find that you do get what you pay for. The more expensive the toothbrush the more efficient it will be. It will last longer and is generally more durable than a cheaper version. A good electric toothbrush will cost over £10.
When looking at these toothbrushes choose one with a small head and extra soft bristles as these are kinder to your teeth and gums. You may also want one that fits easily in your hand which is a particular consideration for children and anyone with a motor impairment such as arthritis.
One aspect of electric toothbrushes which can’t be ignored is that of replacing the head. This needs to be done every 3 months or so as it can start to lose some rigidity as well as the bristles wearing out. Plus germs tend to build up on the head over a period of time.
Electric toothbrushes are cheaper then they used to be but still cost more than your ordinary toothbrush. They are highly effective but are not always so good at reaching the far corners of the mouth. And, the head will have to be replaced every 3 months or so depending on the brand of toothbrush.
There are pros and cons with this as with any electrical device and these will have to be taken into consideration before you make a decision.
Dental Hygiene Index:
- What is dental hygiene?
- Why is it important?
- What does it involve?
- Why do I need to visit the dentist every 6 months?
- I don’t like visiting the dentist so what can I do?
- What is the best toothbrush to use?
- What is ‘flossing’?
- Does an antiseptic mouthwash help?
- What is a ‘dental clean?’
- Which toothpaste should I use?
- I have bad breath, how can I get rid of this?
- What is ‘gum disease?’
- Teeth Brushing
- The ‘Scale and Polish’ Procedure
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Hygiene Products
- Smile Makeover
- Teeth Whitening
- Dental Veneers
- Dental Crowns
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Restorations
- Dental Implants
- Cerec dentistry
- Cosmetic Bonding
- Tooth Reshaping
- Full Mouth Reconstruction
- Cost of Cosmetic Dentistry
- Teeth Straightening
- Inman Aligner
- 6 month smiles
- Damon Braces
- Lingual braces
- General Dentistry
- Dental Hygiene
- Perio Protect
- Dental Floss