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Brushing Techniques

What is the time taken for proper brushing of one's teeth?

The proper or the right time taken to brush one's teeth lasts for two minutes or 120 seconds.

Could you tell me how to brush the teeth in the right way?

To brush the teeth in the proper way, you must use gentle strokes that reach up to the gum line besides concentrating on the teeth that are hard to reach at the back. Clean the surfaces of the lower and upper teeth, the areas around the crowns of the teeth, any restorations and fillings. Take time to brush the chewing surfaces including the inner surfaces of the teeth and the tongue so that you will have fresh breath.

Can you suggest the kind of toothbrush that should be used?

Normally most dentists recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush. As the best type, a soft-bristled toothbrush can reach into the crevices of the teeth and remove debris and plaque. Choose a small-headed brush that can reach the back teeth for easy use. A toothbrush that is powered or an electric toothbrush can also be used besides being easy for people who have limited movement.

What is meant by correct brushing techniques?

The correct method involves brushing of the teeth twice a day that prevents tooth loss, gum disease and decay. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle preferably using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush with short strokes that are half-tooth-wide that reach the gum line. Use a rolling motion to brush the outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. Brush back and forth against the chewing surfaces of the teeth holding the toothbrush in a flat position. Hold the tip of the toothbrush in a vertical position using an up-and-down movement on the inside of the teeth. Use a back-to-front motion with the toothbrush to clean the tongue for fresher breath.

How often is it necessary to replace my toothbrush?

Toothbrushes should be replaced after you have had the flu or a cold as the toothbrush bristles can collect germs and tend to re-infect. Normally toothbrushes are subject to wear and tear as they are used often. They should be replaced every three to four months when the bristles lose their upright position. As children's' toothbrushes are softer, they wear out faster. Toothbrushes are personal items that are used daily and should not be shared as microbes and body fluids can be exchanged with another user and infections can be caused as a result.

How will I decide on the right type of toothpaste?

There are many types of toothpaste in the market today for various conditions such as stained teeth, tartar, gingivitis and sensitive teeth. You can ask your dentist or your hygienist to recommend the right toothpaste.

Is it important to floss the teeth?

Yes it is. The proper flossing method removes food, debris and plaque that are found between the teeth. In the beginning, you may experience bleeding of the gums for the first few times, but you can ask your dentist for other types of interdental aids to clean the teeth if the soreness continues. The best method is to wind or wrap an 18-inch piece of floss around the middle finger and while holding one end tightly with your fingers, you can move the floss up and down between each tooth till the gum line. You can keep unwinding the floss as you clean each tooth and artificial teeth and bridges can be cleaned with a floss threader.

How many teeth cleaning techniques are there?

There are quite a few effective teeth cleaning techniques. The Roll technique can be applied for children up to the age of 9 where the toothbrush is used with a rolling motion around and inside the teeth away from the gums. The Scrub technique can be used by very young children where the toothbrush is used in an up and down movement while the Bass technique involves the toothbrush being held at a 45 degree angle and used in a forward and backward vibratory motion. The Stillman technique follows the Bass technique with the wrist held at a 45 degree angle. The Fones technique follows the circular movement method while the Charter's method involves handling of the toothbrush at 45 degrees in a downward position using the circulatory and the vibratory methods.

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