The most important thing you can do to take care of your teeth is brushing them regularly with non-fluoridated toothpaste. We recommend xylitol containing toothpaste or non-preservative natural herbal toothpaste. We also recommend Ozonated Olive oil on teeth and gums to prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay. Tooth brushing not only cleans the teeth, preventing tooth decay and gum disease, but it also whitens teeth and removes stains on the teeth. In addition, tooth brushing helps prevent bad breath.
Reasons for Tooth Brushing
Tooth decay is caused by a buildup of plaque in the mouth. Plaque accumulates if we are not in the habit of brushing and flossing our teeth. It can combine with the sugars and/or starches of the foods that we eat to produce an acid that attacks tooth enamel, wearing it down. Dental plaque is also harmful to our gums. It can irritate the gums such that they become red and tender and can bleed easily.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around the teeth. Although it is a mild form of gum disease, if not treated early, it can lead to more serious gum disease. Over time the gums may start to pull away or recede from the teeth. As a result, bacteria and pockets filled with pus can develop. Furthermore, the bone that supports the teeth may be destroyed, loosening the teeth and requiring that the teeth be removed.
Brushing your teeth removes plaque from the surfaces of the teeth, while flossing removes plaque from in between the teeth. The American Dental Association recommends tooth brushing at least twice a day for about two to three minutes, and changing your toothbrush every three to four months.
Optimal Tooth Brushing Techniques
It is important that tooth brushing be done properly to target plaque effectively, and avoid causing irritation to the teeth or gums.
Follow these steps and techniques to ensure that you are getting the greatest benefit from your tooth brushing:
- Apply a small amount of Non-fluoridated toothpaste.
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gumline.
- Using short and gentle strokes, brush your teeth in a back and forth motion, starting with the outside areas of the upper and lower molars (back teeth).
- With the same motions, brush the outside surfaces of your upper and lower incisors (front teeth).
- Next brush the biting surfaces of your upper and lower molars.
- Move to the inside areas of your upper and lower molars and brush with the same back and forth motion.
- Use the tip of your toothbrush to brush the inside surfaces of your upper and lower incisors with gentle up and down strokes.
- Finally, gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh. You may alternatively use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue.
In addition to brushing your teeth twice daily, floss your teeth daily, use a herbal mouthwash, eat a well-balanced diet, and visit your dentist for regular check ups. All these activities are components of a good dental hygiene routine.
Toothbrushes: Electric or Manual?
Comfort and convenience are two factors to consider in deciding whether to buy an electric or manual toothbrush. A toothbrush head should be small to fit easily and access more difficult to reach places in your mouth. Its bristles should be soft and rounded, and the handle of the toothbrush should feel comfortable in your hand.
Many dentists suggest that electric toothbrushes can be more effective than manual ones in maintaining oral hygiene. The design of electric toothbrushes imitates the functionality of the professional brushes used to clean teeth in the dental office.
The benefits of using electric toothbrushes are that they tend to increase brushing time and are more effective in reaching difficult areas in the mouth. Therefore, they are successful in removing plaque from the teeth and gum line, more so than manual toothbrushes. Most electric toothbrushes have a setting that notifies the user when to stop brushing. This notification aids in preventing over-brushing that can damage tooth enamel and gums. In addition, electric toothbrushes usually have larger handles, which are helpful for kids, older adults, and adults who suffer from arthritis.
One of the advantages of using manual toothbrushes is that they are more affordable compared to their electric counterparts. Users of manual toothbrushes also find that they may provide more flexibility than electric toothbrushes, useful in reaching difficult areas of the mouth. Some manual toothbrushes come with handy accessories, such as built-in tongue scrapers, that help in maintaining good oral hygiene.
Whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, it is the brushing that counts. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water, storing it in an upright position and allowing it to air-dry.