importance of brushing:
The single best way to remove harmful plaque -- a
thin, sticky film of bacteria -- from teeth and
gums is to brush teeth regularly and properly.
What is the proper
technique for teeth brushing?
Because every mouth is different, there is more
than one technique of brushing that has proven to
be effective. Deciding which technique is most
appropriate for you depends largely on your teeth
position and gum condition. Consult your
physician and/or dentist to determine which
brushing technique is most appropriate for your
dentists recommend a circular technique for
brushing. This includes brushing only a small
group of teeth at a time -- gradually covering
the entire mouth. The importance of maintaining a
circular or elliptical motion is emphasized as
using a back and forth motion may cause the
Sugar and Starches
Did you know that
starchy foods left on teeth may turn to
cavity-causing sugar if not promptly
addition, brushing the debris left behind
from sugary snacks helps to eliminate the
sugar turning into damaging acids, which
may also be harmful to teeth and gums..
- a receded gum surface
- an exposed and tender
- a wearing down of the
recommend the following method:
Place the toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree
Gently brush teeth only a small group of teeth at a
time (in a circular or elliptical motion) until the
entire mouth is covered.
Brush the outside of the teeth, inside of the teeth,
the chewing surfaces, and in between each tooth.
Gently brush the tongue to remove bacteria and
Repeat steps 1 through 4 at least twice daily,
especially after meals and snacks.
What type of
toothbrush should be used?
A toothbrush head should be small -- about 1 inch by 1/2
inch -- and should have a handle suitable for firm
grasping. The bristles of the brush should be soft,
nylon, and rounded at the ends. This helps ensure that
the brush bristles are reaching the spaces between the
teeth as well as the surface. Some brushes are too
abrasive and can wear down the enamel on teeth. Thus, in
most cases, medium and hard bristles are not recommended.
How often is
Generally, brushing is recommended twice a day for at
least three to four minutes each time. Patients generally
think they are brushing long enough, when, in fact, most
people spend less than one minute brushing. In addition,
it is generally better to brush 3 to 4 minutes twice a
day instead of brushing quickly five or more times
throughout the day.
Dentists advise brushing
your teeth during the day while at work, school, or play.
Keeping a toothbrush handy -- in your desk or
backpack -- increases the chances that you will brush
during the day.
Also called dentifrice, toothpaste is comprised
of the following cleaning ingredients (stated in
- humectant and water -
- foaming and flavoring
agents - 2 percent
- coloring agents,
binders, and opacifiers - 1.5 percent
Brushing with toothpaste (particularly toothpaste with
fluoride) helps to accomplish the following:
- remove plaque
- resist decay
- clean and polish
- remove teeth stains
- freshen breath
Which type of
toothpaste is best?
Fluoride is the most crucial ingredient in toothpaste. As
long as the toothpaste contains fluoride, the brand, nor
type (paste, gel, or powder) generally does not matter.
All fluoride toothpastes work effectively to fight plaque
and cavities, and clean and polish tooth enamel. The
brand you choose should bear the ADA (American Dental
Association) seal of approval on the container, which
means that adequate evidence of safety and efficacy have
been demonstrated in controlled, clinical trials.
Some toothpastes offer
tartar control pyrophosphates to prevent the build-up of
soft calculus deposits on teeth, while others offer
whitening formulas to safely remove stains making teeth
brighter and shinier. But, contrary to clever advertising
and popular belief, fluoride is the true active
ingredient that works the hardest to protect your teeth.