What is tooth brushing?
Tooth brushing is a key part of oral hygiene. Although we do it habitually, it's possible to get it wrong!
Proper brushing takes at least two minutes, just to ensure you have enough time to clean all tooth surfaces.
How can you brush right?
Use short gentle strokes.
Angulate the brush to be at 45° to the gum line.
Using a sweeping or rolling movement, brush away from the gum line.
Brush both jaws separately preferably.
Brush all surfaces (inner, outer and chewing surface). Brush chewing surface using back and forth movement.
Don't forget to brush the tongue! (One stroke at a time in a forward and outward direction)
What else do you need to know?
To make brushing easier, the mouth can be divided into quadrants.
Use a soft or medium textured toothbrush.
Toothbrush head should be the correct size for your mouth.
It should also have a comfortable handle that gives a firm grip.
Use a fluoride containing toothpaste.
Change toothbrush every three months or when it begins to wear, whichever comes first.
Also change your toothbrush if you've had a cold to prevent reinfection, as the bristles may retain germs.
Common brushing mistakes to avoid
Using hard bristled brush.
Using the wrong technique (brushing with horizontal strokes).
Not brushing often enough.
Brushing too often or too hard.
Starting at and focusing on the same place all the time.
Skipping the inner surfaces of teeth.
Not rinsing brush properly and letting it dry.
Not changing the toothbrush.
- You must know that proper brushing is not about how long or how hard, but about using the right technique!
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By Udechukwu C, BDS