How To BrushTeeth?

Know how to use a toothbrush to brush your teeth properly including Bass technique and avoid tooth cavities and decays.

Use the correct type of toothbrush and toothpaste to keep your teeth healthy. Toothbrush is an important oral hygiene instrument. Keeping our teeth healthy is necessary for us through out our life. Tooth decay, cavities, erosion of tooth enamel, tartar, etc are the main problems.

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The toothbrush should not damage tissues, should not cause teeth abrasion and should need less effort to clean. An ideal tooth brush should

  • be about 1 inch long.
  • have round head.
  • have uniformly trimmed soft bristles 15.875 mm long and diameter 0.203mm.
  • 4 rows of bristles for adults, 3 for small mouth and 3 for children.

Qualities of Toothbrush and Tips

Correct & Proper Brushing Technique

It is very important to brush your teeth properly and correctly.

A soft or medium toothbrush with correct brushing technique will give best and effort less cleaning. Brush atleast 3 minutes, preferably 5 minutes.

  1. At the front and rear surfaces of teeth, move the brush gently up and down with a flickering action of the wrist.
  2. Place the toothbrush at 45 degree angle where the teeth meet the gums. Press firmly, and gently rock the toothbrush back and forth using small circular movements. Vigorous brushing can make the gums recede and scratch your tooth enamel.
  3. Move the brush back and forth on the biting or grinding surfaces with more force than the front and back surfaces.
  4. Move the brush to all parts of the teeth including gums with tooth brushing strokes. Spend 10 second brushing each tooth.
  5. Do not brush hard scrubbing on the front and back teeth and gums to avoid damage to teeth and gums.

Avoid the use of hard bristled toothbrushes and/ or abrasive toothpastes.

Brush the chewing surfaces vigorously with short back and forth strokes. Brush all surfaces of the teeth.

Brush the tongue. Plaque on the tongue can cause bad breath where bacteria can grow.

Use disclosing tablets (chewing tablets) to reveal plaque left on teeth after brushing.

The Bass Tooth Technique

Dr. Bass developed a technique to keep the area of the tooth at and below the gum clean and free of germs or bacteria. He also designed a multi-tufted toothbrush with closely spaced tufts to provide a smooth, compact and flat brushing plane.

The Bass Method, also known as 45 Degree Angle the Bass Tooth Brushing Technique or Sulcular Vibration Brushing is a very effective method for cleaning below the gum as given below:

  1. First place the brush parallel with the long axis of the tooth. Then turne it slightly down to the gingival margin at an angle of 45 degree to the long axis of the tooth.
  2. Press the brush lightly without flexing and bending the filaments on two or three teeth so as to enter the brush tips in the gingival sulci at gum-tooth border.
  3. Vibrate the toothbrush back and forth 10 times with very short strokes without moving the tips of the filaments from the gums.
  4. Repeat with next group of two or three teeth.
  5. Repeat this on the upper jaw and lower jaw, both for front and back surfaces.

Internet-connected Toothbrush

A French Self-funded startup, Kolibree, unveiled an Internet-connected toothbrush at the Consumer Electronics Show on 5 Jan 2014. The smart toothbrush includes a sensor which detects how much tartar is being removed in a brushing, according to Loic Cessot and Thomas Serval, who said, "the idea is not to brush stronger, but smarter."

The device conveys the information wirelessly to a smartphone application that can tell users if they have missed hard-to-clean areas or are not getting a thorough brushing.

Reference: Agence France-Presse, 2014.

When to Change the Brush?

Do you know, your toothbrush can harbor more than 100 million bacteria if kept uncovered, says Researchers at the University of Manchester, UK. These bacterial include E. coli, which can cause diarrhea and staphylococci (Staph) that cause skin infections. But these bacteria are unlikely to make you sick because of your body's natural defenses. But still you should follow the following things to avoid getting sick.

  1. Store your brush in its cover.
  2. Store your toothbrush away from the toilet as possible because every toilet flush sends a spray of bacteria into the air.
  3. Clean your toothbrush holder which is usually very dirty.
  4. Change your toothbrush every three to four months, according to The American Dental Association. You should throw it more often if the bristles become frayed or you have a weak immune system.

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