We all use the tooth brush everyday and the tooth brush is the most important tool in your oral hygiene kit. Brushing and flossing are called the twins of good oral hygiene methods. However, most of us are not aware of the correct brushing and flossing techniques. So here are some tips for you. Read on……..
Says Dr Prathiba Srinivasan, HOD and consultant periodontist————“ The key to proper brushing lies in the selection of a good toothbrush. Your toothbrush should be comfortable to hold, have preferably soft nylon bristles. Soft nylon bristles are gentle on your gums and teeth. They are also easier to maintain as there is less chance of bacterial contamination of the bristle. The second factor to consider is the size of the brush head. Smaller the head size, better is the reach to clean even the back teeth in your mouth.”
Correct Brushing Method
- Hold your toothbrush in a pen grasp comfortably.
- Ensure that you clean all the 3 surfaces of the teeth…….outer visible surface, inner tongue surface, and the top chewing surface.
- You focus of brushing should be towards the neck or the gum line of the tooth to prevent gum infections and towards the chewing surface that Is more prone to decay.
- Position the head of the tooth brush at a 45 degree angle to the surface of the teeth with the bristles pointing towards the gums.
- Flex the bristles slightly to push the bristles gently into the gum line and also between the teeth. Give gently back and forth motion and sweep it away from the gums.
- Always start brushing from the back teeth covering 3 teeth at a time.
- After cleaning the lower teeth proceed to clean the outer surface of the upper teeth.
- Once this Is done proceed to clean the inner surfaces of the teeth with the same technique.
- In the next round clean the top chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- A minimum of 20 strokes for every 3 teeth is required and a total of 2-3 mms of brushing has to be done.
- Brush twice a day….once in the morning and once at night before bedtime.
- And don’t forget to clean the upper surface of your tongue and the inner part of your cheeks.
- Remember to clean your tooth brush well after brushing.
Dr Prathiba recommends flossing to clean the fourth part of the tooth, which is the area between the teeth. This is the part of the tooth that is more prone to a decay, as the bristles of the brush do not reach to clean.
Correct Flossing Method
- Take about 12 to 18 inches of the floss.
- Stand in front of the mirror. Wrap the floss around the middle fingers of both hands leaving a gap of about an inch.
- Keep the floss firm and use the index finger and the thumb to guide the floss between the teeth.
- Gently guide the floss between the teeth through the contact point and move it up and down to clean the surfaces of the teeth.
- At the bottom ensure that the floss passes below the gumline to clean the bacterial plaque.
- Make a C-shape to wrap around the tooth and gently pull it up.This way you will remove all plaque deposits below the gum line.
- Continue this process for cleaning between all the teeth in your mouth. You a new section of the floss to clean between each teeth.