Oral Health

How to Brush Your Teeth

The first step is to choose a good toothbrush. You always want to use a soft brush with a small head. A soft brush should be hard enough to remove plaque and soft enough not to damage your teeth or gum.

The next issue is to choose a good toothpaste. In general any toothpaste that contains Fluoride will do the job, unless you have a special need that is determined by your dentist.

 

 

The first rule of brushing is to start from a specific location and work your way to the opposite side and all the way through the whole mouth so that you end where you started. This way you won't miss any area. Also usually a pea size of tooth paste is enough. A good brushing should at least take 5 minutes and ideally around 10 minutes.

 

 

There are many different techniques for brushing your teeth but one of the most popular ones is described here:

Hold the brush with a 45 degree angle toward the teeth and the gum. Gently press against the gum so the tips of the bristles go in between the gum and the teeth. Then apply lateral vibration for a few times and roll down the brush to sweep the plaque away from the teeth and the gum. Repeat this motion 6 to 10 times and move on to the next area of 2 to 3 teeth. If your mouth is full of foam, spit out and continue brushing. Your brushing is completed when you have brushed all the surfaces of your teeth and not when your mouth is full! On chewing surfaces, short strokes will work best to get the plaque out of the grooves and pits. Also when brushing the front teeth from inside, hold your brush vertically to be able to reach the teeth better.

As far as frequency of brushing is concerned, ideally you want to brush your teeth after each meal. But if you can t, brush at least twice a day after breakfast and before going to bed.

 

 


 

How to Floss Your Teeth

The surfaces that are between teeth are not accessible to brush; therefore, the best way to clean them is with flossing. The frequency of flossing is like brushing and ideally after each meal, though one time a day (before going to bed) is the minimum necessary.

To start, cut a piece of dental floss (approximately 45 centimeters). Wrap both sides of the floss around your middle fingers. Using your index and thumb move the floss in between all your teeth one by one. When flossing, make sure you are not cutting your gum. The goal is to clean the teeth surfaces and not the gum. In each space in between the teeth, press the floss against each tooth (hug the tooth) and gently move it back and forth and up and down and then move to the opposite surface of the adjacent tooth.

 


Electric Brush versus Manual Brushes

There have been multiple studies comparing the effectiveness of manual brushes as opposed to electric brushes. It seems that if you use each of them in a correct way, there’s no notable preference of any.

 


Bad Breath

There are a few different causes for bad breath. It ranges from stomach problems to diets and teeth problems. Most of the causes can be found in the mouth, they are:

  1. Tongue (when bacteria grows in between the papilla)
  2. Teeth cavities (especially when food particles get stuck in them)
  3. Gum diseases
  4. Extraction sites during healing
  5. Dentures when not cleaned properly
  6. Alcohol and tobacco

If you or someone you know is concerned about bad breath, the first step is a dental check up. Your dentist will be able to confirm or rule out teeth or mouth as the source of bad breath.

When the reason is found, treatment will be explained by your dentist. If the source of the bad breath is your mouth there is little chance that mouth washes or mints can treat the problem. They usually mask the problem for a short period of time. They can even sometimes make the situation worse (mouthwashes that contain alcohol cause dry mouth and that usually makes the bad breath worse).

These are a few other, non-dental reasons that cause bad breath:

1- Sore throat 2- Tonsillitis 3- Some foods 4- Infection of air passages.

Following a good oral hygiene routine and getting regular checkups with your dentist are best ways of preventing bad breath.

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