Toothbrushing and the qualities of the ideal toothpaste

Toothpastes come in a variety of shapes, colors, ranges and are suitable for different conditions.

Depending on their composition, toothpastes can relieve some symptoms or help to heal certain pathologies.

It is important for patients to use a toothpaste that is appropriate for the condition they suffer from, but brushing technique is even more important, the ultimate aim being to maintain good oral hygiene.

Brushing technique

The technique unanimously accepted by dentists as the best for ensuring optimal hygiene has the following features:

  • The brush is inserted into the oral vestibule, parallel to the axis of the teeth and then rotated at 45 degrees. This movement cleans both the gums around the teeth and the dental crowns.

  • Brushing with this technique is also carried out on the buccal surfaces, those directly visible, and the oral surfaces, from inside the oral cavity.

  • Two to three teeth are brushed at the same time and the movements should be slightly rotating and vertical, from the cusp towards the incisal edges and the tips of the cusps of the teeth.

There are other brushing techniques, adapted to clinical situations, but the most commonly used is the one mentioned above.

The technique is fairly easy for patients to master and some of the mistakes that can occur include:

  • Excessive force brushing – patients sometimes mistakenly assimilate the idea of effective brushing as one in which force is applied.

This idea is totally wrong because brushing with too much force can lead to the destruction of enamel prisms.

Thus, over time, there is a risk of excessive tooth wear, followed by dentine sensitivity.

  • Horizontal brushing – as mentioned above, the correct tooth brushing is vertical brushing, with wide strokes extending from the gums to the edge of the dental crowns.

Often, due to haste, patients tend to perform horizontal movements to shorten brushing time and to encompass as many dental units as possible simultaneously.

However, this wrong way of brushing leads to the removal of the gum from the tooth and also to the destruction of the enamel prisms, in both cases resulting in dentine sensitivity.

What qualities should a toothpaste have?

As it can be quite difficult to choose the right toothpaste, given the multitude of options available on the market, we will present the qualities that toothpastes should possess:

  • It must not be harmful – toothpastes must not contain agents that irritate surrounding tissues. They must also be well tolerated by all structures they come into contact with.

  • Must not damage enamel – depending on their grain size, toothpastes can be softer or more abrasive. Toothpastes used mainly for whitening may contain large granules that abrade tooth structure. It is therefore advisable to consult your dentist before using such products.

  • Contain fluoride – fluoride helps remineralize tooth surfaces that are constantly exposed to harmful environmental agents.

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