Oral and Dental Diseases
Dental Care

Summary:

  • There are a few points to pay attention to when you’re buying your toothbrush and toothpaste, depending on your health condition and age. 
  • Neglecting brushing your teeth can lead to plaque accumulation. 
  • You must brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes. 
  • You should see your dentist regularly, preferably every 6 months. 
  • Children enjoy using electric toothbrushes. This can encourage them to brush their teeth. 

Overview:
Brushing your teeth daily with a toothbrush and toothpaste is the best way to maintain oral and dental hygiene and prevent cavities and resulting diseases. Moreover, looking after your toothbrush gives you a healthy and clean mouth.  Dental health is a key element in maintaining a child's health and preventing diseases. It plays an important role in improving the overall health, as most children between the ages of 5 and 9 suffer from tooth decay, which is a top cause for hospitalization and school absenteeism.

The importance of brushing your teeth: 
  • Prevents accumulation of plaque (a thin sticky layer formed on the surface of the teeth from food residues. It contains bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay).
  • Prevents gingivitis
  • Saves energy and effort spent on treating dental problems. 
  • Gives you a fresh breath as a result of keeping away bacteria that cause bad breath. 
  • Reduces teeth discoloration. 

Consequences of neglecting cleaning your teeth:
Neglecting to clean your teeth with a brush and a toothpaste leads to the accumulation of plaque on the surface of your teeth. This can cause bacteria to breed, which would, in turn, cause tooth decay and gum gingivitis. Bacteria produce acids that attack the teeth and lead to their breakage and the occurrence of cavities.

Choosing your toothbrush:
The size and shape of your toothbrush should be suitable for your mouth. Moving the brush all over your teeth should feel easy. It should also have soft nylon bristles so as not to scratch the gums and teeth.

Choosing toothpaste:
All types of toothpaste share the same basic ingredients. However, additional ingredients may differ from toothpaste to another. Some may be more beneficial than others, so it's important to consider the following when buying a toothpaste:
  • Should contain fluoride (a substance that greatly helps prevent tooth decay).
  • Some toothpastes are used for special cases (e.g. whitening, sensitivity, etc.), and it is advised to consult your dentist before you use them.

Children's toothpaste:
  • Under the age of 3: You should start taking care of your child's teeth once they start eating. Use a fluoride toothpaste and an amount as small as a rice grain.
  • Age 3-6: Use no more than a pea-sized amount for children of this age. 

Changing your toothbrush:
It is recommended to change your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or when its bristles seem frayed. This will ensure it cleans your teeth effectively and does not damage your gum tissues.

The duration of brushing your teeth: You must brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes. Do not brush immediately after eating citrus fruits to preserve the enamel layer.

When to see a doctor?
You should see your dentist every 6 months. How often you see your dentist depends on your needs. Some people see their dentists every 3 months to 2 years. 

Tips to maintain your toothbrush: 
  • Avoid sharing your toothbrush with others because this can cause transmit bacteria and increase chances of infections, especially in people with lower immunity. 
  • Wash your toothbrush thoroughly when you're done using it. 
  • Place the brush vertically after cleaning it to speed up its drying. If you’re placing it near other brushes keep its head away from them to avoid the transfer of bacteria.
  • Do not unnecessarily cover your toothbrush (e.g. Place it inside a bag) and do not keep it in closed areas because humidity is a breeding ground for bacteria. 
  • Do not sterilize toothbrushes by placing them inside a dishwasher or a microwave to avoid damaging them. 

There are no studies to prove that soaking toothbrushes in mouthwashes or toothbrush sanitizers has additional benefits or harms to oral health.

Tips for immunocompromised patients:
Immunocompromised patients must stay away from all infection sources. It is essential for them to ask their dentists about the type of mouthwashes or toothbrushes that suit them best. 

The steps of brushing your teeth:
Brushing teeth can vary based on the condition and age of each individual. Your dentist can explain the most convenient brushing method. In general, it is recommended to use a toothbrush as follows:
  • Place the brush on the teeth at a 45-degree angle, so that the bristles of the brush touch the tip of the gums and teeth.
  • Gently brush every 2 or 3 teeth together in a back-and-forth movement from the gums towards the end of the tooth, and so on. 
  • Brush your back teeth (molars) by also placing the brush at a 45-degree angle. Move it back and forth in a circular motion on all internal surfaces.
  • Clean the inner side of your teeth using the brush head, moving the brush vertically across the teeth. 
  • Clean the tips of the teeth, then brush your tongue using a designated brush or your regular toothbrush.

Electric toothbrush: 
An electric toothbrush helps maintain the health of gums and teeth. Many consider it an easier alternative for a manual brush. With an electric toothbrush, all you have to do is pass it on the surface of the teeth while it performs the cleaning process.

Children and toothbrushes: 
Most children enjoy using electric toothbrushes, which encourages them to take care of their teeth. Even though electric toothbrushes can be expensive, their advantages make them worth it.

How to use an electric toothbrush?
  1. Make sure your toothbrush is charged. In most cases, electric toothbrushes come with a light indicator to let you know when they need to be charged. 
  2. Put the toothpaste on the brush head, and hold it at a 45-degree angle like you do a manual brush.
  3. It is unnecessary to press too hard on the toothbrush. It applies enough pressure for you. Some types even have sensors that alert you when the pressure is excessive.
  4. Starting with the outer surface of the teeth, slowly move the brush from tooth to tooth, keeping the brush on each tooth for a few seconds before moving on to the other.
  5. Gently brush the gums. 
  6. Make sure your toothbrush reaches all teeth. 

The duration of brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush: 
Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes. 

Electric toothbrush timer:
Some electric toothbrushes have timers. The timer can keep the brush running for 2 minutes before automatically stopping. 


Clinical Education General Department
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Last Update : 09 June 2021 08:27 AM
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