Brushing Teeth – Introduction, Hygiene Protocol, Types, and More
How do you brush your teeth well?
Brushing Teeth – Knowing how to brush your teeth correctly is important for a healthy smile. Discover the basic rules of effective brushing.
When to brush your teeth?
The basic rule would be to be able to brush your teeth after each meal:
- After breakfast
- After lunch
- Before you go to bed
- 30 minutes after consuming acidic drinks and/or fruits (citrus, juice, etc.)
- If you can’t brush your teeth as often, focus on morning and evening brushings .
- Chewing sugar-free gum does not clean your teeth. However, this promotes the secretion of saliva and eliminates certain food debris.
Why brush your teeth?
To eliminate dental plaque which is a soft and sticky coating which is deposited on the surface of the teeth after each meal and throughout the day. It contains food debris and bacteria that are responsible for cavities and inflammation of the gums. Brushing your teeth regularly helps remove this coating and prevents dental and gum disease .
There are a varied variety of toothpastes available today . It can be enriched with fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel, or contain other active ingredients to fight against gingivitis, tartar, discoloration and dental sensitivities.
Hygiene Protocol – Brushing Teeth
- It is not the force applied nor the hardness of the bristle of the toothbrush that makes brushing effective, but the method. You can use a guide toothbrush if you master the clearing gesture: it must be effective in removing dental plaque on all sides of all teeth. The gesture must at the same time remain atraumatic, ie non-aggressive for gums.
- Electric toothbrushes are a major asset in the removal of bacterial plaque, we encourage you to use it. People who have thin gums that tend to retract are encouraged to use manual toothbrushes or non-rotating electric toothbrushes (often with an oval head)
- Brush all surfaces of the teeth. Do not forget to brush the internal part of the dental arches, less visible and more difficult to access. The internal face of the tooth is the face located on the tongue side and on the palate side. Pass the interdental floss between each tooth.
- Pass the interdental brush between each tooth and particularly at the level of the implants. The correct brush head size is the size that allows the brush head to rub the faces of the two teeth between which it has passed in the same movement. The brush is passed from the lip to the palate or to the tongue. In certain situations the brushes can sting the gum: for these situations there are completely flexible brushes without a metal rod.
- A plaque revealer can be used at the start of learning for educational purposes: as soon as you have learned to spot bacterial plaque, there is no longer any need to use it. From time to time, you can check at the end of brushing with the developer that it has been effective.
The Five Steps to Effective Brushing Teeth
Above all, stand in front of a mirror, so that you can control your brushing technique. Then, put a little fluoridated toothpaste on top of your toothbrush, without adding water, and this for the duration of the brushing.
To properly clean all your teeth without forgetting, you just have to brush them always in the same order, washing the upper ones first, then the lower ones. You can start for example with the faces of the teeth on the cheek side, at the back of the opening, at the upper left.
Then Proceed with the Following Steps:
- Place the brush at the teeth/gums junction, and tilt it so that it forms a 45 degree angle with the teeth.
- By a semi-circular movement of the wrist, roll the brush from the gum to the tooth, and only in this direction , to loosen dental plaque and food debris. Repeat this gesture two or three times for each group of two teeth. Clean all the surfaces of your upper teeth, cheek or lip side, up to the last right molar.
- Brush all the tongue side of the upper teeth in the same way.
- To more easily brush the tongue side of your front teeth (incisors), position the brush vertically.
Finally, brush the top surfaces of your teeth (the chewing surfaces). To do this, perform a back and forth motion at least ten times per side.
- Once your upper teeth wash, brush the lower ones by repeating the same steps. But be careful, for the lower teeth, you have to brush from the bottom up.
- Then brush your tongue (because there are germs there too) and rinse your mouth well.
Finally, run your brush under water before storing it. Your toothbrush is personal. Do not lend it, as this promotes the transmission of microbes.
Common Mistakes to Avoid – Brushing Teeth
After the dentist’s examination, some patients are surprised to learn that they have developed cavities, gingivitis or any other oral problem. Yet they convince that they have good hygiene and healthy eating habits! They brush their teeth twice a day, floss frequently, rarely eat sweets, etc. Certainly all these gestures greatly help to prevent the appearance of affections in the mouth. But some mistakes – seemingly innocuous – can play nasty tricks.
- Use a hard-bristled toothbrush
- Brushing your teeth too fast and too hard
- Keeping your toothbrush on too long
- Make horizontal movements when brushing
- Brush your teeth immediately after eating
- Rinse your mouth after brushing
- Use an abrasive whitening toothpaste daily
- Use mouthwash every day
Brushing your teeth daily eliminates plaque and prevents cavities as well as more severe pathologies such as gingivitis and periodontitis. The ideal tooth brushing lasts 2 to 3 minutes. We start with the teeth of the upper jaw and continue with those of the lower jaw, successively brushing the internal and external faces of the teeth. The correct brushing technique starts from the gum to the tooth, in other words from red to white. The toothbrush should be angled at 45° for best effect. Ideally, the brush should not go back and forth to prevent the debris from returning to the gum.
It is rather advisable to make circular movements on each tooth, not forgetting the interdental spaces in order to eliminate bacteria. To brush the incisors, the toothbrush use vertically. We finish by brushing the underside of the teeth, called chewing surfaces. In case of fragile gums, it is advisable to choose a soft toothbrush and to perform the movements gently.
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