Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brushing the Effective Way

By Aishwarya Jayadeep

During my fourth year of dentistry, while in the preventive dentistry class, my professor asked the class how many times a day does each of us brush our teeth.  It was almost a tie between those who brushed twice a day and those who did it only once. Her subsequent questions about the reason of why we were brushing once or twice a day and what time of the day  were we brushing were all eye openers for a discussion on the right frequency of brushing and the best times of the day to do it. Even being dental students, most of us had not thought about these things much - so you can imagine how it would be with most people.
So for today's post I thought of discussing about the brushing techniques, timing and the frequency of brushing that would help keep that smile on your face longer.

What is the right brushing technique?
There are different methods of brushing teeth. But the key to an effective brushing is cleaning every exposed tooth surface in a gentle, massaging motion. If you are squashing the bristles, you're brushing too hard.
One effective, easy-to-remember technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the entire mouth. Place a toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue and the chewing surfaces and in between teeth. Using a back and forth motion causes the gum surface to recede, or can expose the root surface or make the root surface tender. You also risk wearing down the gum line.

How long do you take to brush your teeth?
Most people think they brush for at least a minute or two, but in reality they brush for 30 seconds or less.Time yourself and see how you do. An effective brushing takes 2 - 3 minutes.Using the technique I have described above brush your entire mouth and see how long it takes. That is the average time you will need.

How many times should I brush my teeth?
Brushing twice each day is what the experts recommend. Although there is research indicating that brushing once a day is sufficient to disrupt the formation of plaque that feeds the bacteria that cause decay, this may not be enough for some people, depending on factors such as their diets and the efficacy of their brushing technique.
So now many of you would be thinking when to brush if you are going to brush only once. If you can only brush once then the best time to brush would be before going to bed,because while we sleep our salivary flow is low hence there would be a higher susceptibility to cavities and plaque. So for your health reasons burshing in the night is a must and brushing in the morning is suggested if you want to keep your near and dear one's close to you :-)

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