We all know that we must brush our teeth regularly, but not many of us know why we exactly need to do that. Of course, the reason for brushing is cleaning the teeth. What the cleaning means in this context is not obvious to most.
For the majority of people, it means removing food after eating. Although this is correct but it is not the ultimate and main aim of brushing. Food in itself does not harm teeth. The germs that normally exist in the mouth (normal flora) use the substances in food to produce acid which is the main reason for tooth decay. The germs produce also plaque by using the biofilm that is build up on tooth surface a few hours after brushing. The plaque contains therefore germs and if not removed by brushing will gradually turn to scale which will cause gum disease. The plaque is quite easy to brush off though.
The marginal gums surrounding teeth react to plaque and or scale by inflammation. The inflamed gum bleeds easily when brushing. That is of great importance then to brush near the marginal gum level meeting the teeth to make sure the plaque is removed. So, bleeding gums when brushing means that the gums are not healthy and therefore you must continue brushing. If right brushing techniques is used the bleeding will stop after a couple of days. For removing scale, you must see your dentist or hygienist.
It is recommended to brush twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime. The saliva production is reduced when sleeping and not protecting the teeth as it does normally during day time. Therefore, it is really important to brush before going to bed.
The brushing duration doesn’t need to be more than 2-3 minutes if brushed on the right place, near the gum lines.
A soft tooth brush is always recommended not to wear of teeth surfaces in combination with excessive forced applied and or over-brushing.
Any tooth paste containing fluoride is suitable unless advised otherwise by your dentist/ hygienist.
Some people have a tendency for plaque build-up easily and hence suffering from gum disease. Some other people have a tendency for developing decays rather than gum disease.
Regardless of which group of people you belong to, nothing will be replacing regular brushing with the right technique.
It is the regular cleaning which keep your teeth safe and healthy, regardless if you see your dentist/hygienist regularly.