Perhaps one of the most common inquiries any dentist is likely to get whether at work or elsewhere is with regard to how best to brush one’s teeth. Everyone is at least aware of the fact that they could and probably should do more to care for the health of their teeth. For the most part, what people want to know is how they should brush, what techniques they should employ, or whether or not certain habits they’ve already formed might be counterproductive. It’s as much a service to breakdown the basics of oral hygiene as it is to save a kitten stuck in a tree.
The Relevance of Flossing
It’s important not to downplay the role that flossing plays in dental hygiene. The relevance, of course, stems from the fact that one of the primary purposes of taking care of one’s teeth and gums is so that the mouth remains a clean cavity wherein infections don’t fester, odors don’t linger, and all enamel shines brightly. The problem is that your gums desperately need you to mitigate your dependency on brushing just enough to ensure that you actually floss as well. Brushing, especially amateur brushing, can’t be expected to work wonders. Flossing needs to be just as much a routine. A good rule of thumb is to brush teeth both in the morning and at night everyday and to floss every night thereafter.
It genuinely does matter what kind of brush you have. There are loads of cool looking brushes out there whose decorative embellishments yield literally no tactical advantage to the brushing process whatsoever—ridges and split brush heads and so forth. Oral hygiene is a battlefield, and whether or not your sword bears feathers on its hilt is entirely inconsequential. The head of the brush should be small enough that you can actually fit it into the kinds of tight corners that actually exist in your mouth, so that’s the kind of detail to watch.
Many like bristles to be as pointy and prickly as possible because it can often feel like a stronger and perhaps even more comprehensive scrape that might earn better results in terms of getting rid of plaque. Believe it or not, you want heavier bristles that are slightly thicker and have rounded tips. You might decide to invest in an automatic toothbrush. These are genuinely more effective than manual toothbrushes due to their consistent oscillations and rotations. If you’re going to bother buying one, though, make sure it has the ADA (American Dental Association) sticker on it; otherwise, it may not be the kind of electronic toothbrush that actually exceeds what your normal brushing routine with a normal brush can accomplish.