Brushing is very important as it keeps our teeth and gums healthy. It helps to clean dirt between the gums and the teeth and also between two teeth. Brushing technique should be soft (to message the gums) and firm (to remove dirt). Brushing reduces the risk of infection and cavities making both teeth as well as gums strong.
There are 2 common techniques of brushing i.e. bass and foneâ€™s methods of brushing. Bass technique is used by adults and foneâ€™s is for the children.
Bass technique is for routine use; in this, the brush is at 45 degrees to the long axis of the teeth. The bristles are used to clean the area between the gums and the teeth as well as between two teeth. After this brushing is done with front and back strokes along with vibratory action. Posterior and anterior strokes are used for the eating surface.
Fone’s technique is very effective for children. In this, the brush is placed at 90 degrees on the outer surface. The teeth are closed and rotary action of the brush helps to clean the teeth. This technique is easy to follow.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the child should be brought twice a year to the dental clinic. The visits may vary if the child has tooth decay, bad oral hygiene, and unusual teeth growth that is important is the quality of brushing rather than the number of times. But dentists recommend brushing twice a day, one time in the morning and second time at night before going to bed. Frequency of brushing depends on individual oral condition i.e. formation of plaque, gum diseases, caries risk etc..
There are 3 types of brushes. Soft brushes are for those who have sensitive gums. They can clean food particles but if the gap between the teeth is less, cleaning becomes difficult. Medium brushes are for those who have healthy gums and teeth. Hard brushes are cheap but have a negative effect on the teeth; they lead to tooth abrasion which exposes the root of the teeth making the teeth sensitive to hot/cold.
Toothpaste contains fluoride which helps to fight plaque, polish teeth, reduces decay and gives a fresh breath. A good toothpaste fights acid attack when the acid is created by the bacteria present in the mouth.
Yes, there can be a number of problems such as tooth staining, gum bleeding and infection, gums get receded which in turn makes the teeth look big and the root of the teeth is exposed, bad breath, wearing of teeth, teeth become sensitive etc.
Normally a brush needs replacement after every 3 months. Moreover, brushes should be changed after the cold/flu. There are indicator brushes available in the market which have a blue colour in the centre when this colour fades the brush should be changed.
Child should start brushing from the time they have baby teeth. Parents should encourage their children to brush their teeth regularly. Children teeth are prone to cavities, brushing avoids this and maintains good oral hygiene.