Good oral hygiene is necessary for maintaining strong and healthy teeth, preventing gum and tooth disease and eliminating bad breath. Ensuring good oral hygiene is not just limited to the teeth, but the interior of the mouth including the gums and tongue. There are 4 main ways to clean the mouth; brushing and flossing, cleaning the tongue, using a mouthwash and getting a professional clean. In this article, we will focus on brushing and flossing.
Brushing and flossing are mechanical actions used to remove food particles and bacteria from the tooth surface. Brushing and flossing should be performed effectively and frequently in order to keep the mouth clean. It is recommended to brush at least twice a day, one in the morning and one at night. However, excessive brushing should not be adopted as the tooth surface can be worn down and the gums damaged. The teeth should be brushed for a duration of two minutes and an effective strategy would be to divide the mouth into four quadrants and spend 30 seconds brushing each quadrant.
The right brushing technique should be implemented in order to maximize the cleaning action. The brush should be positioned at a 45 degree angle to the teeth and a gentle forward and backward motion used for the outer surface. For the inner surface, an up down motion should be used. Effective cleaning requires all tooth surfaces to be covered by the brushing action.
Moreover, it's important that the right brush is selected to clean the teeth. The brush should be replaced every three months or if the bristles start to fray.
While effective brushing goes a long way in removing plaque from the mouth, there are some areas which the toothbrush cannot reach. These are areas in between the teeth and a floss will help to remove the substances trapped in these spaces.