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2016 / NO.2
2016 / NO.2
The Correct Method of Brushing Teeth

Brushing teeth in a correct way can protect the teeth and gums and maintain oral hygiene, which plays an important role in maintaining health throughout one's life. The question is, do you brush your teeth correctly?

Many people know that we need to brush our teeth at least twice a day and two minutes for each time. Why do we brush teeth? It is for removing the bacteria from them. Bacteria will attach to the surface of the teeth in the form of plaque which cannot be removed simply by gargling. Therefore it is necessary to brush teeth, and to brush the teeth thoroughly means cleaning three dimensions of every tooth, i.e. the outer side, inner side and occlusal surface.

When brushing our teeth, we should brush two to three teeth at a time and start with the outer side. If you start with the upper right corner, you should move the toothbrush slowly to the left and finish brushing the outer side of the upper row of teeth at the left side, and from the inner side of the upper left corner to the inner side of the right side and finish brushing the inner side of the upper row of teeth at the right side. We clean the lower row of teeth with the same circular movement to avoid missing any tooth. Last but not least, remember to brush the occlusal surface as well. Most of the people neglect to brush the inner side of the back molars and the outer side of the upper molars. Please remember to brush them! In addition, when brushing the outer side and the occlusal surface, we should tilt the hand, and use the opposite side of the hand for the inner side. Front row of teeth should be brushed with the hand commonly used. The angle between the bristles of the toothbrush and the tooth surface should be 45o to 60o, in order to better protect the gums.

We should brush the teeth for at least two minutes every time to clean all of them. However, most people just rush it through impatiently. If this has been a long habit for you, you can use a timer to help. We need to brush teeth with enough force in order to clean them. Yet if we use too much force, it will wear down the enamel over the long run. Therefore we need to brush the teeth in a patient and mild way. Every three months we have to replace the toothbrush, otherwise it will harbor a lot of bacteria which is harmful to oral hygiene and will cause diseases. Your toothbrush should not be shared with others as it will be brought into contact with other people's oral secretions and blood, which may result in dissemination of communicable diseases.

Most people develop the habit of brushing teeth after getting up from an early age and this is supposed to be a good habit. However, it is bad to brush the teeth only after getting up but not after breakfast, considering that most of the breakfast today contains starch which will be broken down and lead to the production of lactic acid when the bacteria activity in the mouth starts 15 minutes after eating breakfast. A certain amount of lactic acid will dissolve the enamel at the outermost layer of a tooth and cause dental caries over the long run. Therefore, we should brush the teeth in 15 minutes after each meal. If we brush the teeth after having breakfast instead of after getting up, it will be a better habit for maintaining oral hygiene.

In addition to using the correct method of brushing and cleaning teeth, we should also use dental floss before bedtime, reduce the frequency of eating snacks, and go to a professional dentist for checking every six months to keep our teeth healthy, in order to prevent tooth decay. Always bear in mind that dental protection is an important part of maintaining good health!