Most of us learned to brush our teeth as children and have been practicing the same technique since then. However most of us did not learn the correct technique or even if we learned the correct method, probably we have not been brushing the correct way. It is important to brush properly to remove plaque without damaging your gums.
There are several ways to brush teeth properly. Your dentist or dental hygienist can advice you on the method that he or she feels is probably the best for you. The modified Bass technique is most accepted method of brushing for adults. It effectively removes plaque above and just below the gum line.
Some Tips on brushing
Children, can find it difficult to move the toothbrush as required in modified Bass technique. Your dentist or dental hygienist can teach your child the best way to brush. Most children need help to brush until they are 6-7 years of age. It is important that you supervise their child's oral hygiene until the age of 9 or 10.
- Brush at least twice a day: Brushing at least twice a day is recommended by most oral health professionals (in the morning and at night). In the morning, brush either before or after breakfast, as you feel comfortable. You should brush just before going to bed as it helps to remove food debris that may be sticking to your teeth. While sleeping the saliva decreases, which makes your teeth more vulnerable to bacterial acids. Do not brush more than three times a day as brushing too often can cause gums to recede over time.
- Brush lightly: Always brush lightly as brushing hard can cause gums to recede over time. Plaque can't be removed by rinsing, but light brushing can help to remove it. However hardened plaque (tartar) cannot be removed by brushing. You should hold your toothbrush like a pen as this encourages lighter strokes.
- Brush for at least two minutes: Brush for at least for two minutes as this is the minimum time required to adequately clean all your teeth. If needed set a timer or brush for the length of a song.
- Make a standard routine for brushing: Brush all your teeth in the same pattern every day as this will help you to remember to brush all areas of your mouth. If you brush your teeth in the same order daily it will sooner or later become your second nature.
- Change your toothbrush regularly: Change your toothbrush every three months or if the bristles splay, as these toothbrush do not clean teeth properly. If the bristles of your brush flare much before three months, you may be brushing too hard.
- Your toothbrush: Use a toothbrush with "soft" or "extra soft" bristles as there is a risk of damage to your gums if you use hard tooth brush. Use a toothbrush that is approved by the Indian Dental Association. However it is important to use your brush properly as the exact type of brush you use not as important as your brushing technique. You can use an electric or power-assisted toothbrush. These brushes are very useful for people who are not cautious about proper brushing technique or for people with physical problems that make brushing difficult. Like a regular brush, choose an electric or power-assisted toothbrush with soft bristles, brush for at least two minutes and brush lightly.
- Your toothpaste: Use toothpaste that is best for you. Toothpaste don't just clean teeth but help to prevent decay, control plaque, control tartar, whiten your teeth, promote gum care or desensitize your teeth. Most toothpaste contain fluoride, as fluoride has been proven to prevent, stop or even reverse the tooth decay. You may need to change your toothpaste with age. If required consult your dentist or hygienist for toothpaste. Use toothpaste that meets the standard set by the Indian Dental.
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