So, how to brush our teeth?
Personal oral hygiene has a central role in the complex care which aims to keep oral cavity’s health. Clean teeth show health and beauty. Exactly the healthy smile is the charming smile.
Teeth tear food apart and prepare it for the complete assimilation from the body. Keeping them for a lifetime is the aim of oral prophylaxis.
And because not-cleaned dental plaque is the cause for caries development and periodontal disease, its removal is of a primary importance for maintaining of the oral health.
MEANS AND METHODS OF ORAL HEALTH MAINTENANCE
Dental plaque is an organized layer formed over teeth surface. It is a soft substance made up by microorganisms and products of their activity. Plaque is tightly adhered onto teeth’s surface and cannot fall off only by rinsing with water or with a solution. That is why it is necessary to be cleaned out mechanically.
The first step of plaque removal is cleaning with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste from all dental surfaces. Toothbrushes can be manual or electric. Manual toothbrushes are widely spread and enough efficient if a proper technique is performed. Effective and safe tooth cleaning can be worked out with the help of vertical and round movements.
Among the most difficult areas to clean are the distal surfaces of the last teeth and the interdental spaces. To clean the interdental space one should use dental floss or interdental brushes once a day (evening time) after cleaning with a brush and a paste. To clean these spaces one can also use cone-like devices which can also be used for gum massage.
The distal surfaces of the last teeth (whether these are the wisdom teeth or the seventh teeth) sometimes are very hard to reach for the comparatively bigger head of the toothbrush. However, they can be easily cleaned with the help of a single-brush.
An alternative for cleaning of the interdental space is the use of water floss which release a stream of water or mouthwash under pressure when activated.
Next step is rinsing with a daily or therapeutic mouthwash.
Effectiveness of cleaning depends on:
- duration of cleaning
- cleaning technique
- quality of toothbrush and toothpaste
Duration – 3 minutes x twice a day (mornings and evenings)
- mornings – removal of bacterial products formed in the mouth during sleep, refreshment and rinsing after breakfast
- evenings – the more important of the two cleanings because it removes the plaque and food accumulated during the day. If they are not cleaned, they would gain very harmful effect because the quantity of saliva during nighttime decrease.
Cleaning technique – round and vertical movements are performed, successively covering the following zones:
1. First zone – from last upper left tooth to third upper left tooth.
2. Second zone – from third upper left tooth to third upper right tooth.
3. Third zone – from third upper right tooth to last upper right tooth.
4. Forth zone – from last lower left tooth to third lower left tooth.
5. Fifth zone – from third lower left tooth to third lower right tooth.
6. Sixth zone – from third lower right tooth to last lower right tooth.
Teeth from each zone are being cleaned successively on their:
- Outer surface (at cheek’s side),
- Chewing surface,
- Inner surface (at tongue’s and palate’s side).
When oral hygiene is not good, teeth usually accumulate up to 50 mg plaque substance. 1 mg dental plaque contains around 15 million aerobic and 225 million anaerobic microorganisms – causers of dental caries and periodontal diseases.
It is recommended to use toothpastes with triple protection – preventing formation of dental plaque, enriching with Ca and F and preventing of calculus formation. Regarding to toothbrush, it should be soft and replaced every 2 to 3 months.