The ideal toothbrush

Ideal Toothbrush

Toothbrushes, which serve as the main task of removing plaque used for oral cleaning, have evolved in many different ways from the past to the present and have taken their current form. In ancient times, the mechanical cleaning of the teeth was provided by animal bones, bird feathers, hedgehog spines and cleaning sticks used in the form of biting and separating the branches of fibrous trees, which are used as miswak today. The first brush from fibrous tree branches was made in BC. It was used by the Babylonian civilization in the 3500s and has been adopted by most societies due to its aroma, tooth-protecting natural feature over time, and its use continues today. Toothbrushes, which started to be produced with natural methods such as horse hair and pig hair, were replaced by synthetic brushes due to their high cost and high bacterial accumulation. In the American civil wars and World War II, when American soldiers were instructed to use synthetic brushes, the use of brushes spread among the people over time and became an agent used in routine cleaning.

Today, toothbrushes are used as a practical cleaning tool that we can carry with us. With the increase in industrialization, brushes come up with many different options. Toothbrush bristles differ in size, shape, arrangement and hardness. The ideal brush selection for each person is different, it is beneficial for patients to consult their physician for the ideal brush selection. In general, a medium or soft brush is recommended, but in some cases, an extra soft brush may be recommended to patients, depending on the brushing habit and shape of the person. The smaller the diameter of the bristles, the softer; the higher it is, the harder the brush.

In addition, brush bristles are produced in two different ways, natural and synthetic. While the natural bristles are obtained from pig hair, the synthetic ones are produced from nylon. Since natural brushes are enzymatically destroyed earlier, they wear quickly, while artificial bristles are more elastic and durable, and their size can be standardized more easily. For such reasons, synthetic brushes with polymeric structure are generally produced today.

In the selection of the ideal brush, apart from the bristles, the ergonomic shape and size of the handle are also important. The brush handle should be in the length and width that the palm can comfortably grasp. The large brush head causes difficulties in fitting it into the mouth, and it provides a great disadvantage especially in patients with a gag reflex. The small size of the brush head, on the other hand, provides benefits in reaching everywhere and prolongs the brushing time. Some brush heads have serrated plastic surfaces designed for tongue cleaning on the back. In addition, special tongue cleaning apparatuses are produced for tongue cleaning. After brushing, the tongue should also be cleaned by sweeping from back to front. Tongue cleaning is as important as cleaning teeth, because one of the main causes of bad breath is tongue rust on the tongue.

In an ideal toothbrush, the bristles consist of 3-4 rows of bristles, each of which consists of 5-12 vertical bristle clusters, and these bristles should be 0.2 mm in diameter and 10 mm long with rounded ends.

There are interface brushes developed for cleaning between brackets and wires in patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. These interface brushes are relatively hard. In addition, there are V-shaped orthodontic brushes developed for cleaning both the brackets and the gingival parts of the teeth. The use of toothbrush alone is definitely not enough for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. In the case of not using an interface brush, plaque accumulation around the brackets causes discoloration and bruises over time.

Electric toothbrushes make the back and forth, circular or elliptical movements that should be done in manual brushing. Individuals using an electric toothbrush should hold the brush perpendicular to the tooth surface and ensure the cleaning of all surfaces of the teeth by skipping the brush length. Electric toothbrushes have no advantage over an accurate and effective manual brushing. However, it is considered appropriate to use electric toothbrushes for motivational purposes, especially for individuals with mental problems, bedridden patients and people with limited mobility, and those who have weak brushing habits but want to acquire brushing habits.

The most important element for an effective oral cleaning is the way the teeth are brushed. It will be practical in terms of brushing that each individual adopts his own order to cover the entire surface of the teeth and makes a systematic brushing. Accordingly, the lower and upper jaw teeth should be brushed separately. The brush should be placed at an angle of 45 degrees towards the gingiva, with half of the tooth and half of the gingiva. Each surface should be brushed for 10-15 seconds by making a back and forth, circular and vibrational movement, and move forward by skipping one brush length towards the unbrushed surface. Brushing should be neither too light nor too harsh. The pressure to be applied will be sufficient to slightly whiten the gingiva. In this way, the outer parts of the teeth facing the lips and cheeks and the inner parts facing the tongue and palate should be brushed first. In order to use the bristles more effectively while brushing the inner parts of the lower and upper front teeth, the brush should be positioned vertically and a sweeping motion should be made from the gingiva to the tooth. When it comes to chewing surfaces, brushing should be done with relatively harder back and forth movements in order to clean the indentations. The brushing process is completed with the last brushing of the tongue from back to front.

The toothbrush cannot reach approximately 30-35% of the total surface area of ​​the teeth. An effective cleaning can only be achieved with interface cleaning. For interface cleaning, dental floss or interface brush should be used.

Do not neglect to brush effectively at least twice a day, to renew your brush every 2 months and to have regular dental check-ups every 6 months. Remember; health starts in the mouth! I wish you healthy days.

Dt. Büşra Gürocak / Bursa