India’s Tooth Brushing Habit

New Delhi, March 20 (IANSlife) Teeth are an essential part of our body and they determine our overall health to a great extent. Well-known dentist, endodontist, cosmetic dentist and implantologist, Dr Ajay Bajaj, BDS, MDS – Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics, in Juhu, Mumbai talks about oral health.

There are many factors which affect the oral health and the most important one is the brushing technique. India’s contribution in raising health standards is remarkable and noteworthy. But when the dental and oral health, there is a lack of awareness.

As majority of the Indian population resides in rural areas, basic oral health education is the most neglected chapter. Lack of proper guidance and professional help are also contributory factors in the undermining of oral health. One of the prime misconceptions is in the brushing technique, which is regular aggressive use of a horizontal brushing motion and the usage of a hard brush.

In India we call brushing “Daant Ghisna”‘ though essentially brushing should not be “Rubbing teeth vigorously”. Excessive rubbing causes erosion of enamel, which leads to sensitivity.

As per a survey conducted in 2017 one out of every three Indian suffers from sensitivity. Enamel is the thin outer covering of the tooth. The enamel is a shield that protects the tooth from damage preventing decay. Once tooth enamel is damaged, it cannot be brought back. However, weakened enamel can be restored to some degree by improving its mineral content. Certain toothpastes and mouthwashes can contribute to this remineralization process.

How do you know if you are brushing too hard:

Tooth Sensitivity: Sensitivity is when Hot, cold, sweet or very acidic foods and drinks makes teeth or a tooth painful or sensitive. Hard brushing causes erosion of enamel, which leads to sensitivity

In less than 3 months your toothbrush have splayed bristles (or bristles that fan out)

Receding and Bleeding Gums: If you brush too hard you can damage the gum tissue and make it begin to recede which exposes more of your tooth. Bleeding gums can also be a sign of aggressive brushing.

Three generations ago we did not have toothbrushes in India and even today’s generation learned brushing by observation from family. What we need is to learn the proper techniques of brushing from professionals.

Here are some measures we can implement in our daily life to avoid Hard brushing:

Brush twice daily for a maximum of two to three minutes: Brushing more than two times a day and more than two to three minutes each time is inadvisable as it causes enamel erosion.

Wait half an hour after meals before brushing: After meal your teeth’s outer layers or enamel are temporarily softened. Brushing the teeth immediately after rubs acids from the food into the enamel, breaking them down and intensifying the sensitivity. Waiting half an hour before brushing lets your saliva naturally neutralize the acids.

Use Bass technique for brushing: Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, brush gently in a circular motion, and hold the toothbrush in your fingertips, not in the palm of your hand. First, the outer surface of the teeth is cleaned followed by the inner surface present around the tongue. Lastly, brush the chewing surface of the teeth to end up with the brushing session.

Brush gently: Vigorously brushing or rubbing too hard isn’t necessary to remove plaque, Thoroughness is the key. Plaque is very soft and sticky film containing millions of bacteria and it builds on your teeth. If you have tooth sensitivity, opt for a soft bristle toothbrush and special anti-sensitivity toothpaste that are designed for sensitive teeth.

Change your toothbrush every three months: Consult an experienced dentist regularly to find out the best toothbrush as per your dental health. Replace toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months, even sooner if the bristles are splayed or you had been sick. Children tend to brush more rigorously than adults, they may need their toothbrushes replaced more often.

Visit a dentist regularly for routine checkups: Regular checkups also help understand the required measures that must be implemented in the daily oral hygiene routine preventing any damage. As they say “Prevention is better than cure”.

If one starts following the above measures, sensitivity can be prevented from worsening to a large extent. The key to good health is invariably strengthened pearly whites, because oral conditions if untreated can ravage and weaken the body. These simple measures if taken can prolong the life of the teeth, gums and thus the overall well being of a person. Let’s prioritize & brush up our dental care. Be true to your teeth and they won’t be false to you. “We don’t want our teeth to be as scarce as hen’s teeth”.



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