We all use a toothbrush every day but the matter is still surrounded by a bunch of myths. We've made a brief overview of the most important facts about dental health. Spoiler: It's actually not really that complicated.
We have a lot going on in there! Besides many good bacteria and microorganisms, also some less helpful ones colonize the oral cavity, mostly as dental plaque. Without regular brushing, the bacterial balance can be disrupted by factors such as food. Sugar, for example, is the favorite food of caries bacteria, which produce acid and by doing so attacks teeth.
The root of the tooth is deeply anchored in the jawbone and the gums above. In order to withstand the heavy wear of chewing, it is very robustly encased – with tooth enamel, the hardest substance in our entire body.
Caries means tooth decay and is a disease of the hard dental tissue. Bacteria, which feed on sugar and carbohydrates, produce acid and thus dissolve minerals from the tooth enamel. Thus it becomes softer and finally dissolves. If the caries bacteria are not cleaned away, they have time to corrode a "hole" into the tooth.
The gums (gingiva) are a part of the oral mucosa. They surround the neck of the tooth like a cuff, seal the neck of the tooth and the bone against the oral cavity and protect it against the intrusion of pathogens as long as the oral cavity is kept in a healthy bacterial balance.
Periodontitis is a disease of the dental structure caused by bacteria and often goes unnoticed. Not only the gums are inflamed during active periodontitis, but also irreversible bone loss follows, resulting in reduced support, loss of teeth and serious effects on general health. But fortunately brushing teeth helps!
Plaque can only be removed mechanically! Through routined and proper brushing, we can remove bacterial plaque before it attacks the gums, bone or enamel or turns into dental calculus (tartar) and damages our health. Brushing also polishes our tooth surfaces and slows down the accumulation of new bacteria.
Cleaning of the interdental spaces
By brush you will not be able to reach the narrow spaces on the sides of the teeth sufficiently. But since they make up about a third of the tooth surfaces, it’s very important to clean them separately – preferably with dental floss. Grip the floss firmly, guide it into the space in between, place the loop half around the tooth and pull it carefully sliding from the gum to the end of the tooth. Also go slightly under the gum – all twice on each tooth.
Cleaning the outer tooth surfaces
Chewing surface, outside and inside we reach by toothbrush. With manual toothbrushes, the bass technique is recommended, which also massages the gumline: Bristle tips should be placed on the tooth at an angle of about 45° towards the gums. Move the brush in small, shaking movements on one spot. Then, with repeated wiping movements towards the tip of the tooth, "brush off" the dissolved plaque.
Remineralization can stop caries formation in its initial stage by counteracting the decalcification of the enamel. Here, fluorides play a crucial role in the prevention of caries, as they make the teeth more resistant by strengthening the enamel. That’s why it’s important to brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
Through tongue cleaning - in addition to teeth and gums – another area of the mouth gets cleaned, for example by carefully scrubbing. Doing this is actually recommended at least once a day. This way bacteria that get stuck on the rough surface of the tongue and quickly cause bad breath or in the long term periodontitis are removed.
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