Many patients ask me this question what’s the right way to brush? Everybody is aware of the need of brushing their teeth and it’s become a ritual; however, most people are not aware of the right way to brush and the right way to attain a perfect oral hygiene.
Today, the market is flooded with a variety of toothbrushes and oral hygiene aids, and each of them claim to be the best cleaning agent ever. Around 98% of the dental problems are preventable and the method to maintain oral hygiene is very simple, regular oral care at home and a visit to the dentist for preventive dental care twice in a year can lead to a healthy body because oral health is overall health.
A research has shown that most general health issues, cardiac problems, osteopenia, pancreatic cancer, stroke, uncontrolled diabetes, preterm low-birth weight in babies are all linked to a poor oral health. Right-handers have a cleaner left side of the mouth, as they tend to start brushing their left half of the mouth first and are more vigorous. Plaque disclosing dye is a very powerful tool to colour the bacterial plaque on your teeth, which will make your brushing easy, as you will be able to identify the areas you need to scrub. Always brush in a circular motion for the outer areas of your teeth. Make sure that you retract your lower lip and create access for your tooth brush to clean the lower front teeth properly.
A very simple observation is that most people have their lower front teeth having the most plaque though it’s so clearly seen and approachable. This is because our lips stretch and tighten, not allowing the brush to clean the surface adequately. Brush twice a day, and the recommendation is to brush after breakfast and the second time after dinner. When we brush after dinner and again wake up and brush our teeth in the morning, we are brushing clean teeth, as there has been no consumption of food through the night.
The discomfort of bad breath when we wake up can be overcome easily by using a tongue cleaner to clean the tongue; and if needed, use your finger to scrub your teeth and massage your gums. Brushing more than twice in a day can lead to wearing of the enamel and cause sensitive teeth. Brushing is synonymous with being gentle. Never use a lot of force when you brush. Make sure that your tooth brush is discarded every 2–3 months once. If the bristles are getting flared, it means you are using a lot of force to brush your teeth, which may result in damaging of your teeth and gums. The maximum time spent for brushing should be 2–3 minutes. And make sure you keep the tap closed when you are brushing, as it wastes about 16 litres of water. Therefore, follow this right practice of brushing your teeth every day.