In order to have healthy teeth and gingiva, teeth have to be brushed twice a day, after breakfast and before going to bed. Nevertheless, the actual critical point in teeth brushing is to know the right way to do it.
CHOOSING THE TOOTHBRUSH
The toothbrushes differ according to their size, shape, hardness, and arrangement of the bristles. A good toothbrush must be able to reach all parts of the mouth. The function and ease of use are two important factors for choosing a toothbrush. There are two types of bristles; natural and artificial. Despite the fact that both types of bristles are effective, the plastic (artificial) ones have more advantages due to their endurance, elasticity, and standardization of their dimensions. The natural bristles easily misshape and decay, and thus, the risk of contamination increases. Medium hard toothbrushes with rounded bristles are recommended. The handle specifications of the toothbrush are totally up to the user. A handle that can comfortably fit the hand of the user has to be preferred. To summarize, a toothbrush with a straight handle and medium hard, plastic, rounded bristles should be used, and it should be replaced every 3 months.
Nowadays, many people prefer electric toothbrushes with the thought that they are more effective. However, as long as the people can use their hands, the electric toothbrushes have no superiority compared tothe manual ones. The important thing is to use toothbrush properly.
Today, many toothpastes with various features are being introduced to the market. By adding various materials to the toothpaste, preventive effects such as anti-decay, anti-tartar, anti-plaque and anti-sensitivity are being tried to be improved. The anti-decay and decay reducing effects of fluoride are proved. Therefore, fluoride-containing toothpastes should be preferred.
The toothpaste should be put among the bristles with the size of a chickpea, and the contact between the tooth and toothpaste has to be kept during brushing. Toothpaste is only an agent that facilitate brushing. The size and the amount of the particles in the compound of the toothpaste are directly proportional to the abrasion on the tooth surface. The toothpastes that are claimed to whiten the teeth and whose abrasive features are high, should not be preferred as much as possible.
In conclusion, the fluoride-containing toothpastes should be preferred, and they have to be replaced from time to time in order to implement the abrasive features differently.
TOOTH BRUSHING TECHNIQUES
Tooth brushing has to be done with a specific order. The teeth on the upper and lower jaw have to be brushed separately. The facial, lingual, and occlusal surfaces of the teeth should be brushed respectively. The lingual sides of the rearmost teeth and the tongue shall also be included in brushing. If the teeth are not brushed within an order, then the whole area cannot be cleaned properly. While teeth are being brushed, your toothbrush should be dry. Since the bristles soften when they are wet, total cleaning cannot be achieved. The toothbrush has to be placed with an angle of 45o, and half of the bristles shall be on the teeth, the other half on the gingiva. A vibration shall be given to the toothbrush by moving it with a combination of back, forth, and circular motions; and the bristles have to be moved through the gingiva canal between the teeth and gingiva. This motion is repeated 15-20 times in each brushing zone, and then one brush size is advanced. The same method is applied to the internal surfaces, too. While brushing the internal surfaces, the toothbrush can be held vertically in the frontal areas. The occlusal surfaces of the teeth are brushed with back and forth motions. After the brushing procedure is finished, the mouth has to be gargled for 1-2 times. Thus, the toothpaste is not totally removed from the mouth, and the fluoride inside of it makes more effect. The average time for toothbrushing is 3-4 minutes. All surfaces of the teeth have to be brushed. Excessive force should not be used during brushing. Useof excessive force and hard-bristled brushes make way to abrasion in the teeth.