A beautiful and radiant smile – that’s what we all want. But even those who have it only hope to keep it for life. We asked a dentist what his advice was.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, of course also use dental floss, and go to the dentist for regular checkups. Most people are familiar with these basic rules of oral hygiene.
But not all people follow the recommendations: Because with correct oral hygiene, even adults still have a lot to learn and, moreover, many people are afraid of an unpopular visit to the dentist.
Beware of whitening toothpaste
Everyone wants beautiful, white teeth, as we know them from toothpaste advertising. As a result, many people use the products that promise this result full-bodied.
But when choosing toothpaste, this can have a negative impact on dental health in the long run. The reason for this: Toothpaste should clean the teeth well, protect them and also taste good.
An important selection criterion is the RDA value, the measure of the abrasion of hard tooth substances – i.e. tooth enamel, dentin, and the root.
“RDA values that are too high can damage the tooth enamel in the long term,” warns Dr. Graw. Whitening pastes usually contain very high abrasion values for whitening teeth. Therefore, in the long term: check the packaging and, if in doubt, keep your fingers off the tubes.
How to find the right toothbrush
When it comes to choosing the best toothbrush, it must be said clearly: There is no one universal answer here.
“The first question that always arises is: what is the situation in the mouth?” Explains the expert. “Depending on whether you are dealing with children, adults or seniors, a different brush model is required in order to be able to clean ideally.”
There are different shapes that can be adapted to the conditions in the mouth and help with thorough hygiene. In general, Dr. Graw has small brush heads with soft bristles of the same length.
“Extra-long and fine bristles for the interdental spaces do not actually bring any advantage – they are too thin and more likely to bend off than to clean the interdental spaces.”
Use electric toothbrushes correctly
An electronic toothbrush is a sensible purchase – after all, thanks to the vibrations, it always cleans more effectively than conventional brushes, right? That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case!
“Correct handling is essential when cleaning. It is also difficult to clean with an electronic brush if you are not working properly,” explains Dr. Graw.
“However, a study has shown that people with electronic models brush their teeth more thoroughly overall. An electronic brush is therefore generally recommended. ”
When making a purchase, the choice does not necessarily have to be made on the most expensive product. It is crucial that you are able to work with the model and work thoroughly.
Dr. Graw is still ready: toothbrushes with sonic technologies such as the Philips Sonicare.
“Some of these models reach 60,000 vibrations per minute. With a manual toothbrush, you only get this number once a month.
Brush your teeth properly: this is how it works
However, the dentist emphasizes that a manual toothbrush with the right handling does not have to do worse in terms of care per se.
This is achieved with both electronic and manual toothbrushes using the so-called bass technique, which everyone has already learned at the dentist:
Apply the brush to the gums at a 45-degree angle
Apply light pressure
Pull the brush over the tooth
For all manual toothbrush users, Dr. Graw has another tip: “Shake the brush head slightly while moving. This mimics the sound technology of electronic brushes to a certain extent. ”
Very important: do not use too much force. “Excessive pressure can cause irreversible damage to teeth and gums,” says Graw.
Does sugar really break teeth?
When thinking about dental problems, sugar always comes to mind. Surprisingly, according to Dr. However, Graw is not strictly prohibited.
“You are welcome to eat something sweet. It is important, however, that you do not do this permanently, but only once a day. ”
The reason for this is simple: the sugar on the teeth is broken down by bacteria into acid. If acid regularly comes into contact with the teeth, this promotes the development of tooth decay, as the tooth enamel is destroyed.
This is also the reason why you shouldn’t eat anything containing sugar or acid for 30 minutes after brushing your teeth: after cleaning, the tooth enamel is particularly sensitive and vulnerable.
Smoking is not only dangerous to the mouth, but also to general health – this should be clear to everyone.
Smoking does not damage the teeth directly, but it does damage the gums considerably. “Smokers have a significantly higher risk of developing periodontitis,” warns Dr. Graw.
“In addition, all types of cancer that develop in the mouth and throat are very harmful and the chances of recovery are lower than with other types.” So better hands of the butt!
On the other hand, you are welcome to access all foods that require thorough chewing – this stimulates the production of saliva. Raw vegetables, crunchy fruit, and whole-grain products are ideal here.
“All things that stimulate the flow of saliva are good for oral health,” says the expert. “Because the saliva protects the teeth and also the gums.”
Trust is important
With the right dental care – this includes cleaning the interdental spaces – you can make a major contribution to your oral health.
Even if going to the practice is not easy for everyone, the regular check-ups at the dentist should not be neglected.
“Dentists are there to listen to patients and take their needs and concerns seriously,” says Dr. Graw: “Depending on your needs, trust is of course very important.”
He advises anyone who feels uncomfortable: “Make an appointment for an oral hygiene consultation. And if you don’t feel comfortable at the dentist, listen to your gut feeling and change your practice. ”
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