Here are some Oral Hygiene Tips to keep your teeth healthy.
We often wonder as to why some people have more dental problems than others. We simply blame it on genetics, while that is not completely untrue but we can avoid a large part of our problem by maintaining proper oral hygiene and care.
Let our experts bust the most common oral care myths for you and tell you about the key to good oral hygiene.
The first myth which we will be talking about is that “Brushing harder makes your teeth cleaner”. This is a big lie, on the contrary, the harder you brush, the yellower your teeth become as the outermost layer begins to wear off displaying the second layer (Dentin) which is yellowish-brown in color and this also leads to sensitivity.
Let us delve into the basic questions about toothbrushing.
How to choose a toothbrush?
Well, just like you don’t pick just any shampoo or facewash for yourself and put some thought into what will suit your hair and skin. Similarly, there are some things to look for in a toothbrush according to your dental needs.
While purchasing a toothbrush for yourself next time, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the size of my toothbrush head compatible with the size of my oral cavity?
There are majorly 4 sizes of toothbrush heads according to age for ease of brushing. The brushes usually specify the age group they cater for, but incase an adult has a smaller mouth, they can go in for a smaller headed toothbrush for a more customized brushing experience. Usually, the approximate toothbrush size according to age is as follows-
Newborn to 2 years: 15mm
2 years to 6 years: 19mm
6 years to 12 years: 22mm
12 years and above: 25mm
- What kind of bristles should my toothbrush have?
Usually, all brands of toothbrushes come in various types according to the bristle type namely- ultra soft, soft, medium, and hard. Hard bristled toothbrush is almost never recommended except for denture cleaning and occasional cleaning of stained teeth. We generally recommend medium to soft bristled toothbrush for daily routine cleaning. If you have sensitive teeth then use only soft bristled toothbrush. For a constant problem of food getting stuck between teeth use a multilevel bristled toothbrush along with other cleaning aids like interdental brush and flossing. For better polishing of teeth along with cleaning, prefer to use a toothbrush with rubberlike circles at the centre help clean surface stains.
When you are using the right toothbrush, you can do a better job at caring for your teeth.
- What is the proper toothbrushing routine?
Ideally toothbrushing should be done twice a day, one in the morning and one at night before sleeping for 2 minutes each. Try keeping a stopwatch initially to make sure you aren’t over or under doing it. Cover all areas of the teeth -front, back, outer, inner, chewing surface and gum line.
An electric or sonic toothbrush can be used as an alternative to manual brushing but is mostly recommended for people who lack dexterity or for some physical or mental health reason cannot efficiently clean their teeth. It can also be used by people who don’t know how much pressure to apply while brushing and end up abrading their teeth with vigorous brushing.
- What toothpaste to use?
In adults, it doesn’t matter what toothpaste you use as long as it has fluoride in them (approx. 1000ppm). You could switch to a toothpaste for special concerns like sensitivity, teeth whitening, gum care according to your needs as the basic usage remains the same. What is more important is to use only pea sized amount of toothpaste for adults, half of pea size for children in the age group of 3 to 6 years and
just a smear of toothpaste for children below 3 years.
Time to bust another myth. People believe that more toothpaste means better cleaning, but that’s far from the truth. Only recommended amount is advisable for most efficacy.
- What other cleaning aids can we use?
Just like our teeth are of different shapes and sizes and carry out various functions like biting, chewing, crushing, etc. Similarly, our teeth require more than one cleaning method. With toothbrushing being the main one, adjuncts like tongue cleaning, flossing and mouth rinses are essential too. In cases of gaps between teeth and crowns or bridges, interdental brushes are very helpful in cleaning the areas in between 2
teeth or crowns. For effective cleaning of gum pockets and hard to reach areas, you can use a waterpik or water flosser.
Avoid using toothpowder instead of toothpastes as they are more abrasive and are more harmful than beneficial. Visit your dentist once every 6 months for a routine check-up. Just follow these guidelines for a daily brushing routine and get ready for sparkling clean and decay free teeth with a fresh breath. Let your teeth shine with all the love and care you give them.