Do You Really Know " How To Brush ?"
All of us do the brushing in the morning on the regular basis daily. But we never know the method we are using to clean our teeth, whether it is right or wrong. In India, we never teach our kids how to brush instead we show them by doing infront of them and say rub the brush against your teeth with tooth paste. This is all we know about oral hygiene. The question arises who taught us the right way of brushing and what we are teaching our kids is right or wrong. We have different types to tooth settings in our mouth we know our teeth are different from others most of the times but still don’t invest some time to think, are we following the right way of brushing to clean our teeth. Actually we trust more than enough on our tooth paste rather then relying or focusing on our brushing techniques. Even we hasitate to ask someone or even to a dentist about brushing techniques. Many people feel same in it.
Only a Dentist can tell you how to brush because he is the master of oral health and have studied the process and know the feedbacks of brushing. He knows the type of dentition you are having and which techniques is suitable for you. Or he may advice you to use electice brush if you are incapable of doing right techniques. So I will suggest you , next time you go to your dentist please ask him, how to brush , don’t hasitate, it is for your own good .
Many patients come to me and ask me , why they have caries or bad breath or decaying tooth while they do the brushing twice daily. I don’t answer them first , I ask them to show me their brushing method. And after that I tell them it’s not genetic or supernatural, it’s just their wrong method of brushing which leaves behind food debris in between their teeth and let them decay the tooth. They use branded tooth brush and tooth paste, but still they have caries. Because branded tooth brush or tooth paste can’t alone take care of your teeth. Something you also need to do to help them to clean your teeth.
Here I am telling you one of the most common brushing method used worldwide and trusted by most of the dentist around the world.
Modified Bass method:-
This technique is most common around the world and favourite among dentist because it not only removes 70-80% of food debris during brushing it also massages the gums during brushing and clean the junction of gums and your teeth. It also protect your teeth from frictional damages done by horizontal brushing and efficiently cleanes the interdental areas.
Modified Bass brushing technique :
- Hold the head of the toothbrush horizontally against your teeth with the bristles part-way on the gums.
- Tilt the brush head to about a 45-degree angle, so the bristles are pointing under the gum line.
- Move the toothbrush in very short horizontal strokes so the tips of the bristles stay in one place, but the head of the brush waggles back and forth. Or use tiny circular motions. This allows the bristles to slide gently under the gum. Do this for about 20 strokes. This assures that adequate time will be spent cleaning away as much plaque as possible. [Note: this is a very gentle motion]
- In healthy gums, this should cause no pain.
- Brushing too vigorously or with large strokes can damage gum tissue.
- Roll or flick the brush so that the bristles move out from under the gum toward the biting edge of the tooth. This helps move the plaque out from under the gum line.
- Repeat for every tooth, so that all tooth surfaces and gum lines are cleaned.
- For the insides of your front teeth, where the horizontal brush position is cumbersome, hold the brush vertically instead.
- Again, use gentle back and forth brushing action and finish with a roll or flick of the brush toward the biting edge.
- To clean the biting or chewing surfaces of the teeth, hold the brush so the bristles are straight down on the flat surface of the molars.
- Gently move the brush back and forth or in tiny circles to clean the entire surface. Move to a new tooth or area until all teeth are cleaned.
- Rinse with water to clear the mouth of food residue and removed plaque.
Still a good practice of modified bass method techniques removes 70-80 % of food debris from the mouth. For rest of 20-30% debris we need to do extra cleaning which is not possible with brushing only. So we need to do flossing every day along with regular two time of brushing to clean rest of food debris leftover by tooth brush. Despite of latest technology and design no brush is still perfect to clean the whole month specially inter dental spaces. Interdental space is the region present in between two adjacent tooth. Our tooth brushes are not enough to reach out these gaps so unable to clean the medial and distal surfaces of tooth which form the adjacent wall of interdental spaces. Because this gap is tight and thinner with depth. Mostly the food debris got stuck in between these gaps and continue to decay for several days in mouth and causes caries or dental decay. So we need to clean these area and these surfaces which is present in between adjacent teeth. I think 80% of caries or periodontal damage occurs due to this left over food. To clean these gaps and surface we need to do flossing.
Dental floss is a thin, knitted,wax coated nylon thread which comes with different types of carrier or as a simple 5 MTR rolls. When you start flossing to feel boating and difficult to floss but with daily practice you will master flossing. It also comes in different types of floss holders . Choose which one suits you best and easiest to use.
Flossing don’t require any special method or techniques. But you need to be extra careful while flossing so it could not damage you gums. Slide the floss in between adjacent teeth and slowly move towards gum line gently perform two and fro , sweeping from gum line to external surface . First movement for mesial surface two or three times then the distal surface two three times . Your flossing is done for this gap now move to each interdental spaces of teeth and follow the same rule.
I promise you will star feeling fress from day one and your tooth will say thanks to you .
Dr S. P. Yadav