One of the first things that we are taught as kids is brushing our teeth. As we grow older it becomes one of the most ignored mundane part of our routine. How many times have you lied about the number of times you brush your teeth? Don’t worry we all do it, ;)
The matter of fact is that we are diligently taught that we must brush twice but why we should do so is not stated very well. Moreover we are never exposed to the right way of brushing!
Dr Megha Parikh Mahade points out that our overall health depends on our oral hygiene, and maintaining oral hygiene is very easy. The first step to better oral hygiene is proper brushing. A simple change in the type of brush, or using the right technique can make a huge difference to your oral health and ensure longevity of your teeth. We come across many different statements about brushing, brushes, different toothpastes etc through advertising giving rise to a lot of questions. Nth Sense with Dentist Dr Megha Parikh Mahade debunks 7 most common brushing questions.
1. How long should we brush?
This is one of the most commonly misunderstood concept. Brushing for a longer period of time does not ensure better oral hygiene, instead it damages the teeth permanently leaving abrasions and deep scratches in the teeth. This may later result into unwanted dental issues. On the other hand a swift swoosh of the brush is not going to clean your teeth at all.
It is recommended to brush for 2mins to experience a clean and long lasting oral hygiene.
Pro Tip: Play your favorite song while you brush,( make sure the song run time is 2 mins :) )
2. What is the best technique of brushing teeth?
For Adults: Modified bass Method
If you find it difficult to use the modified bass technique you can simply use a circular motion. This will help clean all surfaces without damaging gums. In any scenario do not resort to horizontal heavy brushing.
For Children: Simple Circular motion
3. Which brush to use?
Always use a soft bristle brush and light pressure, remember you are cleaning teeth not metal. Hard bristle brushes can damage the teeth enamel leaving permanent damage to your teeth. Many times hard bristles are known to have caused damage to gums causing bleeding and mouth ulcers.
4. Which brush is better electronic or manual?
Both electronic and manual toothbrushes are effective. Electronic brush is easier to use, so are better for people who lack manual dexterity.
5. Can electronic toothbrushes be used for kids as well ?
Yes can be used by kids above 3-4 years provided they are taught how to use it.
6. How often should you change your toothbrush?
It’s recommended to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Keep an eye on the bristles, it’s time to change your brush once the bristles get distorted.
7. What type of toothpaste should be used?
You can use any toothpaste as long as it has the right fluoride content. Fluoride helps in preventing cavity formation. An effective toothpaste must contain at least 1000 ppm fluoride.
The healthy amount of fluoride content in a toothpaste is dependent on the age and amount of toothpaste used. Do not shy away from introducing toothpaste to your kids. Oral hygiene is the most important factor of a child's overall health. There are specific toothpaste available with a lower fluoride content just for kids.
Always keep in mind the thumb rule: Children under 10 must use a toothpaste with lower fluoride content, and only a pea sized toothpaste at a time. So the toothpaste is safe if they tend to swallow it.
8. Who should use sensitivity toothpaste?
People who have sensitivity to hot and cold food, which is not due to a cavity, should use sensitivity toothpastes. These toothpastes can be used in the same amount as regular toothpaste until you stop experiencing sensitivity.
Now don’t ever shy away from that molar to molar grin that reflects warmth and friendliness. Brush aside your queries and start brushing with the right techniques and follow the correct procedures for those sparkling white teeth, healthy gums, oral cavity and of course that dazzling smile.
Wish to know more about dental hygiene and oral healthcare? Read interesting health blogs by dental care experts on Nth Sense and smile healthy!
Dr Megha Parikh Mahade
BDS , MDS (Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics)
Certified in Invisalign, Flash & Clear Aligner Treatments