We all know that in order to have healthy and beautiful teeth, we need to start and end the day with a toothbrush.
Brushing in the evening, after the last meal, before going to bed, is essential because during sleep, the tongue, cheeks and lips hardly move at all, so there is no self-cleaning of the teeth, and salivary secretion decreases which means less antimicrobial agents. In these constant conditions of temperature and humidity, the development of microbial flora and the damaging action of acids produced by the metabolism of bacteria on teeth are facilitated.
Tooth brushing technique
Brushing technique is very important. Incorrect brushing can lead to receding gums, sensitive teeth, gum damage and bleeding.
A correct brushing takes 3-5 minutes with a manual toothbrush, up to 3 minutes with an electric toothbrush.
Brushing techniques should be taught in the dentist’s office because each patient has specific problems that require different techniques. The most commonly used technique is the vertical brushing technique (Bass technique) and this can be used by anyone.
Bass technique (Gingival groove brushing)
The brush is placed at an angle of 45 degrees so that the tip of the brush rests on the gum line and tooth surfaces. Gently vibrate the brush to “sweep” the tooth surfaces from the gum towards the free edge of the teeth. For each group of teeth, both the outer (buccal) and inner (oral) surfaces are vibrated about 20 times for 10 seconds.
The occlusal surfaces (those on which we bite) are cleaned by pressing the filaments perpendicularly and firmly into grooves and pits and activating the brush with 20 short back and forth strokes.
Brushing is done first on the maxillary arch, then the mandibular arch, where the same rules are followed.
It must be included in daily hygiene, as the dorsal surface of the tongue is one of the main sources of micro-organisms.
Tongue cleaning has the following effects:
reduces oral debris,
delays the formation of plaque
reduces the number of micro-organisms
helps to combat halitosis.
Tongue cleaning is done with a toothbrush or with an aid – the tongue scraper.
When using the toothbrush, it should be placed with the length of the bristles across the dorsal surface of the tongue, and the brushing is done with gentle pressure from posterior to anterior, repeating the movement 3-4 times.
The tongue scraper is made of plastic, steel or other flexible material, and is used to move the tongue from posterior to anterior with light pressure, covering the entire surface of the tongue.
Rules for flossing
the floss should be grasped by the fingers of both hands, between the thumb and index or middle finger of each hand, in an oblique position
the distance of the floss between the fingers should not be more than 2-3 cm
pass the thread over the point of contact of the teeth with a gentle back and forth motion until the obstacle is overcome. In the case of a close contact, the interdental insertion is done firmly, with the wire stretched, but the pressure must be very well controlled so as not to damage the interdental papilla.
the floss is adjusted around the tooth, then held taut and slightly curved on the tooth surface, it will be moved 5-6 times up and down vertically without trauma to the interdental papilla
there are plastic, fork-shaped holders with external knobs, into which the floss is twisted, for situations in which the patient does not have the necessary dexterity to handle the floss digitally. For patients who find flossing a torture, there is the much more convenient air floss option.
Ideally, especially for patients with dental bridges, braces or dental implants, brushing, flossing and tongue cleaning should be complemented by mouthwash.