History and Importance of Tooth Brushing
– Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Indians used various materials for tooth brushing.
– Modern toothbrushes were developed in England in 1780.
– Tooth brushing became widespread in the United States after World War II.
– Proper tooth brushing prevents cavities, gum disease, and tartar formation.
– Poor dental health is associated with heart disease and shortened life expectancy.
– Harmful bacteria can build up on teeth and gums without proper oral hygiene.
– Bad breath can result from not brushing teeth.

Tooth Brushing Guidelines and Techniques
– Brushing every 48 hours maintains gum and tooth health.
– Modern toothpastes have minimal abrasion of dentin.
– Brushing with manual or sonic toothbrushes does not cause significant wear.
– Composite fillings are not affected by tooth brushing.
– Young adults tend to brush longer on the grinding surfaces of back teeth.
– Techniques include scrub, Fones, Hirschfeld, Bass, and Modified Bass.

Contamination and Decontamination of Toothbrushes
– Bacteria can survive on toothbrushes for over 24 hours in moist conditions.
– Brushes can be decontaminated by soaking in mouthwash.
– Mouthwashes reduce plaque if they contain essential oils or chlorhexidine gluconate.
– Harmful bacteria can be present on brushes and contribute to infection.
– Side effects of mouthwashes include poor taste and oral irritation.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste
– Toothbrush consists of a small brush on a handle.
– Manual and electric varieties are available.
– Evidence suggests electric toothbrushes with oscillatory motion are more effective.
– Toothpaste is commonly used in conjunction with a toothbrush.
– Addition of xylitol to fluoride-containing toothpastes reduces tooth decay incidence.
Fluoride toothpaste use in young children has specific guidelines.

Tooth Brushing Before Meals and Common Mistakes
– Brushing immediately after an acidic meal can cause more damage to enamel and dentin.
– Flushing acid away with water or dissolved baking soda can help reduce acid damage.
– It is recommended to brush before breakfast or dinner, especially after consuming acidic beverages.
– Care should be taken to avoid brushing immediately after consuming acidic foods or drinks.
– Common mistakes include neglecting to brush the tongue, using excessive force, and not replacing toothbrushes regularly.

Tooth brushing (Wikipedia)

Tooth brushing is the act of scrubbing teeth with a toothbrush equipped with toothpaste. Interdental cleaning (with floss or an interdental brush) can be useful with tooth brushing, and together these two activities are the primary means of cleaning teeth, one of the main aspects of oral hygiene. The recommended amount of time for tooth brushing is two minutes.

A man brushing his teeth while looking in a mirror.
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