Tooth brushing is the cleaning of the teeth or removal of food debris and plaque usually by the use of a special brush. It is one of the ways the mouth is cleaned.

However, humans have indeed been cleaning their teeth before the invention of toothbrushes. Different materials had been used in past for cleaning the teeth for example; chewing sticks, charcoal, salt, sand, cotton wool and even fabrics have all been used to clean the teeth. Even today, some individuals still make use of chewing sticks and other materials that are accessible to them.

Furthermore, keeping the mouth clean is of utmost importance because a dirty mouth is a less functional one and it is also an embarrassment in socializing.

Importance of tooth brushing

The benefit of tooth brushing is as follows;

  • Toothbrushing makes your mouth clean.
  • It diminishes the risk of tooth decay.
  • It preserves your gum and minimizes gum-bleeding tendencies.
  • It curtails the risk of tooth loss.
  • It lessens the presence of bad breath.
  • It enables the tooth to heal from the early onset of tooth decay.
  • It reduces the rate of tartar accumulation.
  • It maintains the colouration of the teeth by removing external stains.

Materials needed for tooth brushing

The environment an individual lives in can affect the materials needed to clean the teeth, for instance, the bushman that dwells in the Amazon forest in South America has no access to a modern oral kit therefore he resorts to the material he can locally find to clean his teeth.

Moreover, the normal material needed to clean your teeth are; toothbrush, water and toothpaste.

Duration of tooth brushing

Tooth brushing should be for at least 2 minutes and should be done twice a day; the last thing before going to bed and after your breakfast or your first meal, remember brushing is done to reduce the amount of food available to the natural bacterial you have in your mouth, brushing after food keep them on diet.

However, if you brush once a day you should do it before your first meal and then rinse your mouth afterwards. Please note that brushing after every meal is not a good practice, it should be avoided.

Starting point

Following a pattern when brushing your teeth is very important to avoid skipping any part or area of your mouth {teeth}. A good place to start is the outside of your back teeth { side facing your cheek} then move around without jumping, remember to protect your gum by brushing gently around the gum margin, as a rule always brush away from your gum. Brush all surfaces, the outside, the chewing surface and the inside. Using the right type of brush is very vital, using a streamline headed toothbrush with an outward curve before the head. The curve is for deflecting your cheek. The strength of the brush bristle should be medium.

Brushing technique

There are many types of brushing techniques but most of them are not beneficial to the teeth in the long run. So in choosing a tooth-brushing technique you must bear the following in mind;

  • the gum is a soft tissue so the brush should not ride across it.
  • there are spaces between each tooth and getting them cleaned is very important because they are the first point of trouble.
  • teeth are built in a special arrangement so it is easier to damage them when you brush against the formation.

The best brushing technique, therefore, is wrist roll. It is brushing away from the gum by placing the bristles of the brush parallel to the long axes of the tooth with the bristle pointing to the gum. Then roll your wrist to move the brush away from your gum while laying the brush on the tooth. Ask your dentist for a demonstration.

When to change your toothbrush

Change your toothbrush when the brittles are flared and do not forget to clean your tongue.

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