Because it is important to respect proper oral hygiene in adults and children, how to do it, when to contact the dentist. A complete guide
Oral hygiene: why is proper cleaning of teeth and gums important?
Follow one proper oral hygiene since childhood it is the key to having a beautiful and healthy smile even when grown up. The correct use of the toothbrush, the choice of the right toothpaste, the most adequate brushing technique and the use of dental floss, in fact, are the best allies for healthy, beautiful and problem-free teeth.
In order for an adult to have teeth without cavities, without damaged or sore teeth, however, it is good to accustom children from the first years of life to constant and correct cleaning. Parents will begin to take care of gums and teeth from the first months of life, with soaked cotton gauze and then move on to the toothbrush when the teeth come out and the child will be older, until he becomes autonomous at the age of 4-5 to brush the teeth alone (even with the arrival of the first permanent dentition).
So let’s go into the world of oral hygiene, essential for the whole family to know, with guidelines, advice and information for healthy and clean teeth.
How to properly brush your teeth from an early age
There right brushing technique, removes – in both adults and children – the risk of plaque formation on the teeth and avoids the arrival of caries and pain. But what is the correct way to use the toothbrush?
Dentists recommend cleaning the outer surfaces of all teeth, placing the brush at 45 degrees towards the gum, therefore slightly inclined. The toothbrush will be passed from the gum to the tooth, exerting a little pressure (without exaggerating). The inner surface of the teeth, on the other hand, should be cleaned with the brush vertically. It is important to brush every single tooth, without forgetting the most uncomfortable ones to reach, this is an important aspect to make children understand that they tend to focus only on the front teeth without pushing the toothbrush up to the molars.
The right brushing technique must, of course, be carried out with an age-appropriate toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. The teeth, once cleaning is finished, must be thoroughly rinsed. Especially for children, a glass can help in this case.
What toothbrush to use?
This is a difficult question, given that when we find ourselves in front of the toothbrush shelf, adults often let themselves be guided by convenience, while children are attracted to the toothbrushes of their favorite characters, to the more colorful, funnier ones, with lights and sounds. But the choice of toothbrush it is an aspect that should not be underestimated.
As for children, usually, the age range is indicated on the toothbrush packaging. Generally speaking, these are toothbrushes with a smaller head and delicate and rounded heads, able to clean the teeth well, to enter the mouth well, without hurting the gums or attacking the teeth. The conformation of the head, the material of the bristles eliminates dental plaque without risk both for milk teeth and for the first permanent teeth. However, we recommend that you consult your pediatrician before buying your first toothbrush.
For adults, the situation becomes more complicated, given that on the market we find hard bristle toothbrushes, soft bristle toothbrushes and the much purchased “medium toothbrushes”. What is it about? How to choose the most suitable for your teeth?
Generally, hard bristle toothbrushes are suitable for those with perfect teeth, without problems of any kind, while soft bristle toothbrushes are suitable in case of sensitive teeth, gingivitis, or following dental interventions.
The “medium toothbrush”, which is the most popular on the market, is a cross between the previous two. It has bristles with a thickness between 0.2 and 0.25 mm, ensures proper cleaning without attacking teeth and gums. Even for adults, the advice of the dentist is recommended before buying a toothbrush.
How to use dental floss
The use of the dental floss it is another fundamental habit to ensure maximum oral hygiene, especially in adults. If, in fact, the regular use of toothbrush and dental floss is often unthinkable in children (they will learn to use the latter when they grow up), all adults should clean their teeth daily with this tool.
But how to use it correctly and when? Dental floss must always be used in combination with a toothbrush, toothpaste and – if the dentist recommends it – also with mouthwash. Dental floss, so to speak, absolutely does not replace brushing, but works with the latter for a deeper cleaning.
Dental floss should be used at least once a day, preferably in the evening. According to some experts it should be used before brushing the teeth, according to others after. But beyond the best time to use dental floss, let’s see what is the ideal procedure to use it correctly:
- cut about 30 centimeters of wire
- wrap the ends of the thread on the middle finger of both hands
- insert the floss into the interdental gap, with light pressure
- move the dental floss from one tooth to the other in a zigzag motion
- slip the floss against the tooth surface, under the gum
- always pass a segment of clean floss over each tooth
- starting from the back teeth up to the front ones
When to go to the dentist
In the case of children, it is advisable to always consult with the pediatrician in the various stages of the child’s growth. Ask for advice on cleaning baby teeth and the first permanent dentition.
In the case of adults, it is advisable to contact the dentist when they experience various kinds of discomfort, tooth sensitivity, gingivitis, aching teeth, caries. The specialist will be ready to advise you on the best treatment or the best products to use for adequate oral hygiene.
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