The toothbrush

The toothbrush: which to choose and how to use it

Our smile is a real asset, and that is why it must be properly cared for and managed so that it can last for as long as possible.

In addition to going to the dentist at least once or twice a year for routine check-ups, there are various types of behaviour to avoid and others to be practised assiduously to ensure your smile has the right protection. We are talking about simple behaviour that does not cause particular problems but which can be of decisive importance.

Your dentist plays an important part in your oral hygiene, but the bulk of the work is inevitably up to you. Proper dental prevention necessarily involves the choice of an appropriate toothbrush and its correct use. The most suitable toothbrush is one with artificial bristles, since it is more hygienic (natural bristles are often a breeding ground of germs and bacteria) and less jagged, allowing you to brush your teeth without damaging your gums. The ideal thickness of the bristles is between 0.20 and 0.25 mm, i.e. medium hardness, with rounded tip.

Once you have chosen the right toothbrush, you need to learn how to use it properly. To brush your teeth correctly, the toothbrush must be applied to the teeth arch at an angle of 45 degrees. The movement must be circular and, for both the external and internal parts, from the gum to the tooth and never the opposite. This means downwards for the upper arch and upwards for the lower arch. It is advisable to start from the incisors and then move towards the molars and finally to the wisdom teeth, treating one semi-arch at a time (there are two arches, the lower and the upper, divided into two semi-arches, so ideally there are four sections into which the teeth are divided).

As far as the tongue is concerned, which has just as much need for care, ideally you should have a tongue cleaner, a more delicate tool than a toothbrush and made specifically for this purpose. If you do not have one, the toothbrush is fine too. It is necessary to apply a circular movement and proceed with delicacy, remembering that the surface of the tongue is much more delicate than that of the teeth.

We should also clarify that it is true, brushing your teeth too often can damage the enamel. Ideally you should do it three times a day, avoiding bristles that are too hard and wait at least half an hour after meals. Waiting, the experts suggest, is the best thing to do since acids and sugars temporarily weaken the enamel and intervening immediately means stressing an area already made more sensitive by the foods ingested.

Also remember that it is very important to brush your teeth before going to sleep. During sleep the amount of saliva present in the mouth decreases, lowering the oral protection threshold and consequently increasing the risk of gum infections and tooth decay. Also, it is advisable to avoid sweet and savoury snacks before going to sleep, and not just to keep you figure. Precisely for the reasons just explained above, any residues between the teeth cause even more significant damage than during the day.

Managing your oral hygiene methodically is what really makes the difference, allowing you to go to the dentist less frequently and protecting your mouth every day from yellowing of the teeth, bacterial invasion, the onset of diseases, tartar residues and gingival plaques.

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