The most important thing is to pay attention to all teeth from all sides, that is, from the external, internal and chewing. Cleaning your tongue is optional, but there are studies that cleaning your tongue can help with halitosis (halitosis).
As for the specific technique, doctors have no consensus, but most adhere to the modified Bass technique.
Here’s how to brush your teeth on it:
- position the brush at an angle of 45 degrees to the gums;
- make small circular movements from the gum to the tooth;
- To brush your teeth from the inside, position the brush vertically.
Dental organizations recommend brushing your teeth for two to three minutes. This is enough to remove plaque and maintain healthy teeth.
As for the frequency of cleaning, doctors agree with each other : twice a day – optimally, and a second time before bedtime. But about the morning cleaning, the specialists have disagreements. Some are advised to clean before breakfast to reduce the potential effects of acids. Arguments in favor of cleaning after breakfast : this way you can remove the remnants of food between the teeth and simply keep the fresh breath longer. Another recommendation : wait about an hour so as not to harm the enamel, which is immediately weakened after eating (especially if you ate something sweet or sour).
In fact, the main thing is to simply brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly. In this, all doctors are in solidarity. If it’s more convenient to clean before breakfast, do so. If after – so be it.
In addition to conventional toothbrushes, there are also electric, ionic and sonic ones. You can use them all. An electric brush cleans plaque due to the rotation of the nozzle, a sound brush – due to sound vibrations, ionic – due to a special ionizing mechanism.
Research on the superiority of one brush over another is mixed. Scientists from the Edinburgh Dental Institute reviewed several studies comparing conventional and electric brushes and did not find a statistically significant difference between different types of brushes. A similar but later review showed that electric brushes better remove plaque, but how exactly this affects the teeth in the long term is unclear. Research on sonic and ionic brushes is much less, but the available ones confirm that the ideal brush has not yet been invented. For example, as a result of one study, it turned out that sound brushes are more effective than ordinary ones, but only by 10%. A study on ion brushes did not reveal their advantages over ordinary ones.
Regarding brush stiffness, the American Dental Association favors soft bristles, as it is the least harmful to gums and tooth enamel. The British Ministry of Health advises soft or medium brushes. The head of the toothbrush can be any, but some studies have shown that brushes with multi-level bristles better clean plaque.
Conclusion: you can effectively brush your teeth with the most ordinary brush, if done carefully and regularly.
American Dental Association Brush Care Recommendations :
- rinse the brush with tap water after each use to remove any residual paste and dirt;
- keep the brush upright;
- do not cover the brush with a container – in such an environment, microbes multiply intensely. Let the brush air dry;
- change the brush every three to four months or more often if the bristles are worn out.
Choose a fluoride paste. Fluoride has been shown to prevent tooth decay. Moreover, the concentration of fluoride in the paste should be at least 1,000 ppm. Optimal – 1,350-1,500 ppm. For children under six years of age, if they do not have caries, the concentration can be reduced to 1,000 ppm. Other components of toothpaste have a controversial effectiveness, so when choosing a paste it is better to consult a dentist.
Spit out the toothpaste after brushing. But immediately rinse your mouth, according to experts, is not necessary : so fluoride will stay longer on the teeth.
Another point to watch out for is the amount of paste on the brush. Do not squeeze it too much. Children under three years old have a smear, and children older and adults – peas. You can see how the smear and the pea look like here.
Thread vs irrigator
Dentists advise cleaning the interdental spaces once a day. Dental floss or irrigator will help. Some researchers question the effectiveness of dental floss, but it still appears in official dental health guidelines.
How to use a thread:
- Pull out 30-45 cm of thread and wrap it around the two fingers of each hand.
- Carefully thread the floss between your teeth.
- Bend the thread in the form of the letter “C”.
- Walk the thread up and down, pressing it to the tooth. Do not yank or break the thread.
- The same instruction in English with pictures.
The irrigator cleans the interdental spaces with a stream of water and, according to the results of some studies, even outperforms dental floss. An irrigator is especially useful if you have braces, crowns or bridges that are difficult to clean. Irrigators are stationary and portable. The latter can be taken with you anywhere, but their tank is only enough for one cleaning.
The American Dental Association does not see the urgent need for rinses as a means of care: conventional rinses will not replace a toothbrush, and you will get rid of bad breath only temporarily. Some rinsing agents can cope with a specific problem, and in this case, they must necessarily contain the active ingredient. For example, chlorhexidine rinse aid may be effective in halitosis. But use such rinses should only be prescribed by a doctor.
It is recommended to use a rinse aid only from the age of six: small children can accidentally swallow the liquid, and there is a chance that this will lead to unpleasant consequences: nausea, vomiting, and intoxication due to the alcohol content in some rinses.