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Brushing and Flossing

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Proper brushing is necessary for the removal of soft films (plaque) and other substances that either form or remain on the teeth after eating. The type of brush to be used, the time of brushing and the time to change the brush has not always been clear in the mind of many people.

Here are certain guidelines for effective brushing.

  • Soft bristles are more flexible and hence clean more effectively the minor space between the gums and the tooth (hard deposits begin to form if this area is not kept clean) and also reach the surfaces between two teeth.
  • Rounded bristle ends cause less trauma to the gums than flat cut bristles with sharp ends.
  • To maintain effective cleaning, toothbrushes must be changed as soon as the bristles begin to fray. With regular use most brushes wear out in about 3 months and need to be replaced.
  • Powered toothbrushes are not superior to manual brushes.
  • Brushing hard or for longer duration can lead to wearing away of the teeth and reduction in the height of the gums.5 

The bristle toothbrush now used widely was first appeared about the year 1600 in China!!!

Electrically powered toothbrushes were invented in 1939.


So here is the verdict. Use a soft brush and replace it once in every 3 months. The method of brushing may vary based on the condition of the gums and teeth. A dentist should be consulted for the appropriate technique. Generally, while brushing a brush should be held at an angle to the teeth so that it rests both on the gums and teeth. The brushing can be performed by using short, back and forth strokes.5

Dental floss is made up of multifilament nylon yarn and is used to clean the deposits that are lodged in between two teeth. These are available as over-the-counter (OTC) products and can be used after obtaining proper instructions. The floss is generally wrapped around the fingers of the hands and is guided into place with the thumb and index fingers of each hand. It should be moved front and back starting from the gum side towards the biting or chewing surface of the tooth 5,6.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: October 14, 2014

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