Oral hygiene is essential to maintain oral health, that is, it is the main tool of dental prevention. It is important to establish associated routines to be able to perform them well. Therefore, the establishment of oral hygiene as a routine will help it to be included in one’s daily life.
Oral hygiene consists of removing and controlling bacterial plaque from both dental and interproximal surfaces.
Plaque control is essential for dental and periodontal health, and the best way to achieve this is with the correct use of a manual or electric toothbrush, together with interproximal hygiene instruments (dental floss and / or interproximal brushes).
The general characteristics of tooth brushing are the following:
- It must be done by all people. You need the collaboration of the patient and their compliance.
- It should be daily, several times a day.
- To be effective, it is necessary to know the technique of tooth brushing and acquire some manual dexterity.
The effectiveness of tooth brushing depends on:
- The design of the toothbrush
- The brushing technique and the skill of use
- Brushing time and frequency of use
This article wants to emphasize this last point: brushing time and frequency of use.
When should you brush your teeth?
Although there is no consensus on the frequency of brushing, but from a practical point of view, it is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, at least one of them just before going to sleep.
During the night is the most critical time of the day, so it is insisted on washing before going to sleep. During sleep, less saliva is produced so that saliva cannot perform its buffering and protective function.
It is important that if acids are ingested, they do not brush their teeth directly after finishing eating, to prevent the action of the low pH from causing changes. Therefore, it is suggested to wait some time (30 minutes) for the saliva to perform its buffer function and return to optimal conditions.
The used toothbrush should be changed every 2-3 months, and in children more frequently, due to deterioration due to nibbling.
How long do you have to brush your teeth?
There is a direct relationship between brushing time and the amount of plaque removed, that is, the longer you brush your teeth, the more plaque will be removed.
Based on current scientific evidence, brushing your teeth for a minimum of two minutes is recommended. Time with which 41% of dental plaque is removed.
In general, it is often thought that you brush your teeth for longer than you actually do it. So to control the time, especially in children, hourglasses can be useful, just like listening to a song.
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