Good Brushing Techniques

by on March 29, 2012 | Posted in Oral Hygiene

Regular brushing of teeth is very important because it prevents tooth decay and gum diseases. Brushing removes the bacteria of dental plaque that promote tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing is a simple task but many people do not know how to do it correctly. Skipping around so much and rubbing so hard does not clean teeth, it actually damages the teeth and gums. No matter how good one brushes their teeth; some bacteria will always be left behind. The growth of dental plaque starts again the moment you stop brushing and remove the tooth brush from your mouth. You should be very careful to use proper tooth brushing techniques so that the percentage of bacteria left behind will be the lowest possible.

Teeth should be cleaned for at least two minutes twice a day. It is important to take short and delicate strokes as teeth are delicate organs which need soft and delicate handling. Especially if one is already facing any oral problem. Gum cleaning is as important as tooth cleaning. So it is very important that while brushing, at the same time gentle strokes must hit on the gums too. The toothbrush should haze extremely soft bristle so that it does not rupture your gum line and result to bleeding.

Below are different cleaning techniques for people of different age groups.

Scrubbing technique: This method is used by children below 9 years of age. The bristles should be soft with tasteful toothpaste so that they do not shirk from cleaning their teeth.

Bass technique: Kids between the ages of 10- 15 years are supposed to make circular movements so that an adequate massage can be provided to developing gums. This covers all the gums and teeth area and gives a completely clean mouth.

Roll technique: In this technique one is supposed to give short strokes towards the teeth surface from gum margin. It is said that improper following of this technique may lead to neglected gum margin clean out.

Charter’s method: In this technique, one has to place the brush partially over the gums and partially over the teeth. A vibrating effect is given to the brush in circular movements. This technique is very beneficial but difficult to learn thus it is unpopular.

The tongue should also be brushed to remove bacteria that cause bad breath. Use a tongue scrapper if you are uncomfortable with the brush. If you have a bad breath problem, brushing the roof of your mouth helps a lot.

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Causes of Dental Plaque

by on March 28, 2012 | Posted in General dentistry

Dental plaque is a soft deposit that accumulates on the teeth. It is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. The buildup of dental plaque on teeth is a normal physiologic process, occurring in both healthy mouths and mouths with and cavities. Plaque on teeth favors the development of dental diseases. It is comprised of colonies of bacteria and other microorganisms mixed with bacteria by- products, dead cells and food residuals.

Dental plaque starts when bacteria that are usually present in the mouth attach to teeth and begin multiplying. Plaque can form on teeth both above the gum line, where it is called supra gingival plaque. Failure to remove dental plaque by regular tooth brushing allows its build up in a thick layer. As it matures, different types of microorganisms appear. At the lower layers of plaque, nearest to the tooth surface, the composition of dental plaque changes in favor of anaerobic respiration. This respiration produces acids which lead to demineralizing of the adjacent tooth surface and dental caries. With time, the acids destroy the enamel resulting in tooth decay. Irritation of the gums around the teeth leads to gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth loss. The bacteria adhere to a clear sticky substance from saliva, called glycoprotein, which binds almost immediately to the surface of a freshly cleaned tooth. The combination of bacteria and glycoprotein on the tooth surface is called a pellicle or biofilm.

Plaque can be prevented in the following ways:

  • Brushing the teeth at least twice a day with a soft rounded toothbrush. Particular attention should be put to the space where the gums and the teeth meet. A toothpaste containing fluoride should be used.
  • The teeth should be flossed at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria
  • A dentist/ oral hygienist should be visited every six months for a check- up and teeth cleaning.
  • Ask your dentist if a dental sealant is appropriate for you. Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to protect them from cavities and decay.
  • A balanced diet should be eaten and a limit in the number of snacks. Snacks should be foods such as plain yoghurt, cheese, fruit or raw vegetables. Vegetables such as celery help remove food and help saliva neutralize plague- causing acids.
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