It has been around since the beginning of time, or close to then anyway. Parents will always be telling their children to brush their teeth.
Patients are asked how often they brush their teeth and mostly the answers are the same: “ YES, I brush twice a day”
Here are some interesting facts:
- it takes 24 hours for plaque (invisible soft material) to form on your teeth
- brushing before bed is recommended because our mouths are dark, moist and that is a perfect time for bacteria (plaque) to grow
- plaque does not stop accumulating on our teeth
- plaque is soft material on our teeth that if not removed, becomes calcified (hardened) and requires professional removal.
It is the mechanical motion -moving the toothbrush back and forth at a 45 degree angle to the tooth and gums- that cleans the teeth. Toothpaste is great for the fluoride that we no longer have in our drinking water (and to have fresh breath) but if you do not have any toothpaste on hand, it is not necessary for tooth brushing. Also, remember to replace your toothbrush at 3 month intervals or if the bristles on your toothbrush are flattened or splayed out.
There are a lot of toothbrushes out on the market to help with plaque removal. Some popular ones are Sonic Care and Oral B. It is perfectly fine to use a manual tooth brush, but we must remember to brush all the teeth we want to keep for 2 minutes, 2 times a day. Encourage and help our little ones with this task because it takes a lot of practice to get good at it. For everyone else, it is never too old to learn new things or get rid of bad habits!
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask our Dental Hygienists, or any of our staff, about what concerns you may have about tooth brushing. Always remember that it is important to maintain a regular schedule of professional dental cleanings to keep teeth, gums, and overall health in good condition.
Braeside Dental Centre