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Know Your Oral Hygiene tools.....
Brushing your teeth is not just for a whiter smile and fresher breath, it's critical for your overall health. When you brush, you remove plaque — a thin film of bacteria that sticks to your teeth and creates cavities, gum diseases, and if you ignore it long enough, will cause damage to your teeth and gums.It is very important to know the proper technique for brushing. But it is also important to know the Oral hygiene aids required for effective brushing. It is often discussed when to brush and how to brush but seldom is been told about proper selection and maintenance of our dental aids. Here are some tips that
will help you
1. Selection of Brush:
Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. It must effectively remove plaque and debris from your teeth, without irritating the gums or eroding tooth enamel, like hard-bristled brushes can do when used with improper action. Electric toothbrushes are a great choice for lazy brushers and children to encourage them to spend more time on teeth; however, you can do just as good of a job with a manual toothbrush — it's all in the technique. One good method is to brush with a manual toothbrush in the morning and use an electric toothbrush at night. The bristles will wear out over time, losing their flexibility and effectiveness. You should purchase a new toothbrush every three to four months, or as soon as the bristles start to splay out and lose their shape. Visual inspection of the toothbrush is more important than the actual timeline. Always rinse your brush after using it, and store it upright and uncovered so that it can dry before your next use.
2. Selection of Toothpaste:
Use fluoridated toothpaste. It not only helps to remove plaque, but also strengthens tooth enamel. It should not be used for children under the age of three years, since in case children swallow the toothpaste, ingesting too much fluoride can have serious health consequences. There are special toothpastes available for children with different flavours in order to encourage them to brush. You get toothpastes to target a wide variety of dental and gum problems, including cavities, tartar, sensitive teeth and gums, gingivitis and stained teeth. Opt for the one that suits you best or ask your dentist for advice.
Use dental floss. Flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing, as it removes built up plaque, bacteria and food particles that get trapped between the teeth, which toothbrush bristles can't reach Alternatively, you can use Flosser, which is a small pieces of floss strung between 2 supports which is convenient to use. It’s important not to use Sewing thread as it can break, get stuck between teeth and be harsh on gums. Clean floss should be used daily and thrown way after use.
4. Selection of Mouthwash:
First and foremost, even though mouthwashes refresh your breath and help wash away food particles, they are not a replacement for a regular routine of brushing twice-daily and flossing daily. It can therefore be used as an adjuvant to brushing. There are basic three types of mouth rinses viz. A.Fluoride Mouth rinse is to be used in case your toothpaste is non-fluoridated toothpaste. B.Anti-plaque Mouth rinse works by killing a different spectrum of bacteria depending upon the contents of the mouthwash. C.Cosmetic Mouth rinse makes your breath smell good, reduces mouth odour (or halitosis), in some cases do kill bacteria for a short time, but they don't necessarily offer any long-term dental health benefits.
5. Tongue Cleaners (Scrapers):
Cleaning your tongue daily should be a natural part of your everyday oral health care routine, along with brushing, flossing, and rinsing. There are scrapers which are metal or plastic, ones with bristles on the ends and ones without. It may take some trial and error to find one that works for you. If your tongue has deep crevices, a scraper with bristles might be best or if you feel your tongue is a bit sensitive, then a basic plastic one might work for you.
Mastering the Brushing Technique
Brushing twice a day is very important in order to maintain the health of teeth as well as gums. Equally important is the way you brush with proper brushing technique. This article will guide you in understanding the Ideal brushing technique. I understand that changing your existing brushing method in a day is very difficult, so try to adapt into the proper technique gradually and come as close as possible to the Ideal brushing method.
1. Use a small amount of toothpaste.
Squeeze only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Applying too much toothpaste can cause over-sussing (formation of excess foam), tempting you to spit and finish too early. If brushing is painful, try brushing more gently with accurate circle motion only or switch to a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth.
2. Set your bristles at the gum line at a 45-degree angle.
Rather than employing horizontal motion (which is the most common method of brushing that can cause damage to your gums) use Vertical swipes. Vertical motion helps cleaning teeth as well as sub-gingival (below the gums) areas. In case vertical motion cannot be performed, (as in case of children especially) gently brush with a short, circular motion.Ask your dentist to demonstrate you the correct brushingtechnique in case of any doubts.
3. Spend two to three minutes on brushing.
Brush just a few teeth at a time and work your way around your mouth in a circle to cover every tooth (spend about 12 to 15 seconds on each set of teeth). If it helps, you can divide your mouth into quadrants: top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. If you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant, you'll get a full two minutes of brushing time in. Try starting at the outside (cheek or lip side) lower left teeth, moving to the outside lower right, then outside upper right to upper left. Change to inside (palate or tongue side) uppers and brush inside upper right, inside lower right, and finally inside lower left.
4. It is very important to brush chewing surfaces of teeth as well.
To brush chewing surfaces of Molars and Premolars, position the toothbrush so that it is perpendicular to your lips or so that the bristles are resting on top of your bottom molars. Work the toothbrush in an in-and-out motion and move from the back of your mouth to the front. Repeat on the other side of your mouth. When the bottom teeth are clean, flip the toothbrush over and work on the top molars. In order to brush the inner surfaces of your lower front teeth, tip the toothbrush so that the head of the toothbrush is pointing towards your gum line and brush each tooth. It has been observed that the most commonly skipped area is the inside of the lower front teeth, so be sure not to forget those!!
5. Brush your tongue gently.
After you've cleaned your teeth, use the Tongue cleaner to gently clean your tongue. (Don't press too hard or you'll damage the tissue) This helps keep bad breath away and gets rid of bacteria on your tongue.
6. After brushing
take a sip of water and rinse it thoroughly in order to remove excess of paste from your mouth.
7. Rinse your toothbrush.
Hold your toothbrush under running water for a few seconds to remove any bacteria from the brush. If you don't rinse the toothbrush properly, you can actually introduce old bacteria into your mouth the next time you use it. Place your toothbrush somewhere where it will readily dry out.
8. In case you wish to use a mouthwash after brushing
, wait for 10 to 15 minutes after the brushing in order to get the maximum benefit. Take a small sip (10ml approximately) of mouthwash, swish it in your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit it out. Be careful not to swallow any. For a complete antibacterial protection rinse with a chlorhexidine mouthwash before going to bed but do not use it for longer than two weeks in a row.
9. Remember to brush at least twice a day
- once in the morning and once before going to bed. If you can fit in a third time somewhere in the middle, even better! You should also try to avoid snacking between meals as much as possible, as these results in more food debris and bacteria building up in the mouth.
ORAL CARE FOR KIDS
It is very important to take care of child’s primary teeth (baby teeth). Baby teeth help children eat and develop speech before their adult teeth come. Baby teeth also keep the adult teeth on track by saving space for permanent teeth in the mouth. When a child’s baby teeth fall out or are pulled too early, there’s nothing left to guide permanent teeth into place. The result may be the filling of the gap left for the permanent tooth. Good oral hygiene begins at birth. Even before your baby has teeth, you can gently brush the gums. Use water on a baby toothbrush or clean them with a soft washcloth. Brushing is crucial from the get-go. When your baby's teeth appear, brush twice a day with an infant toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Your child should see a dentist by his first birthday. Brush just before bedtime. After that, don't give your child any food or drink, except water, until the next morning. Don't put your infant or older child down for a nap with a bottle of juice, formula, or
milk. Sugary liquids cling to the teeth, feeding bacteria that can cause tooth decay. If you must give your child a bottle to take to bed, make sure it contains only water. Kids can start brushing their teeth with help from a grownup around 2 or 3. But they may not be ready to go it alone until about age 6. If your child is tired, you may not get much cooperation with brushing and rinsing, so start before it's too close to bedtime. Kids 5 or older can pick their own from options you approve. Make brushing a group activity. Kids might be more likely to join in if they see the grownups brushing. Ask your dentist about sealants. A sealant is a special coating that goes into the grooves and pits of your child’s molars (back teeth). If the dentist feels your child is at high risk for cavities, sealants may be applied on your child’s back teeth to prevent cavities on biting surface of the tooth. Your dentist may also recommend fluoride gel or varnish to provide extra cavity protection. Applying fluoride gel is quick and painless and it helps prevent tooth decay.
FLUORIDATION OF TEETH
Tooth enamel is the outer covering of your teeth. It’s stronger than bone and made from calcium and phosphate. Your saliva is also loaded with calcium and phosphate and bathes the teeth to keep them strong. Whenever you eat something (especially sweet or sticky food) bacteria start processing the carbohydrates in the food producing acids that attack the enamel which causes calcium and phosphate to be stripped from the tooth enamel (this process is called demineralisation), leaving the tooth more vulnerable to decay and cavities. Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources. When children eat or drink fluoride in small doses, it enters the bloodstream and becomes part of their developing permanent teeth. Swallowed fluorides become part of the saliva and are absorbed into the enamel. Fluoride helps to repair the enamel by replenishing calcium and phosphorous in your teeth (this process is called remineralisation). This helps
strengthen your teeth and prevent dissolution during the next phase.
Fluoride also reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria on your teeth produce. Children who have fluoride when their teeth are developing tend to have shallower grooves in their teeth, so plaque can be more easily removed.
How to use fluoride:
Topical fluoride products are applied directly to the teeth. Even though they are in the mouth for only a short time, fluoride levels in the mouth remain higher for several hours afterward. Topical fluoride products include toothpaste, mouth rinses and professionally applied fluoride treatments.
1. Toothpaste Fluoridation: Fluoride toothpaste is very effective in preventing tooth decay. The amount of fluoride in toothpaste is usually enough to reduce decay. All children above three years of age should use toothpaste that contains 1350 to 1500ppm (parts per million) of fluoride.
If your children are younger than 6, be cautious about how they use it, however. Young children are more likely to swallow toothpaste after brushing instead of spitting it out. Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and encourage them to spit out as much as possible.
2. Professional fluoride treatments are given in a dental office. They are applied as a gel, foam or varnish. The fluoride used for these treatments has a higher strength than over-the-counter or prescription mouthwashes or toothpastes.