Prophylaxis – the 5 most common mistakes in tooth cleaning

Anyone can brush their teeth, the majority may think. As banal as it sounds, is it really as simple as it seems?? Dental disease is already largely caused by improperly applied oral hygiene or inadequate prophylaxis. This is particularly responsible for caries and periodontal disease, the most common dental diseases.

Caries is caused by bacteria that produce acid from sugary food and leftovers. These dissolve the minerals from the existing tooth enamel. The more time given to bacteria, the faster tooth decay will occur. Periodontosis, an inflammation of the gums, also develops similarly. As with caries, bacteria contained in plaque are the triggers. Increased plaque concentration causes tartar buildup. This irritates the gums. Here it can come from bleeding gums to tooth loss due to receding gums, bone loss, in the consequence of loosening.

For this reason, thorough oral hygiene at home and regular prophylaxis is particularly important. Prophylaxis describes any action to maintain healthy teeth and prevent tooth or gum disease. For this reason we would like to show you again the 5 most common mistakes in teeth cleaning.

1. Incorrect or insufficient oral hygiene

You should clean your teeth at least twice a day, better after every meal. Here it is important to brush for at least three minutes after breakfast and before going to bed.

However, it is not only the quantity that makes sufficient teeth cleaning, the quality is equally important. Proper tooth brushing is by no means just rough scrubbing. Prefer to be gentle. Place the toothbrush at an angle of ca. 45 degrees to the outer tooth surfaces. Here you should brush in as circular, shaking movements as possible. So plaque and plaque dissolves easily. This is repeated on the inner sides of the teeth. Finally, you should clean the chewing surfaces. These may be scrubbed in contrast to the other tooth surfaces.

In order not to forget any spot, it is advisable to have a system in place. At best, clean upstairs first, then downstairs. For many patients, dental care is already complete here. To maintain healthy oral hygiene, however, cleaning the tongue is also part of the process. You can easily remove bacteria from them with a so-called tongue cleaner. You can get tongue cleaners in any well-stocked drugstore. Furthermore, there are already integrated cleaners for the tongue on the back of modern toothbrushes.

You should finish by cleaning the spaces between your teeth with dental floss, interdental brushes and mouthwashes, which can also be found in the drugstore sections of most retail chains.

Tips for cleaning teeth infographic

2. The wrong toothbrush

Choosing the right utensils for your personal tooth cleaning is more complicated than you might think. It already starts with the rather difficult decision between the manual toothbrush and the electric model. While manual toothbrushes vary in hardness and bristle arrangement, the electric brush market is steadily expanding.

The commonly used electric rotary toothbrushes have a round, oscillating brush head and are said to provide a slightly better clean. However, there are no exact studies on this. The newer sonic toothbrushes clean your teeth with brushes that vibrate at a high frequency. Furthermore, ultrasonic toothbrushes are currently available. These work with a special paste that creates bubbles when combined with saliva. By bursting the bubbles, your teeth are cleaned gently and without abrasive pastes. The special effect of the ultrasonic toothbrush is that it can be used to clean even interdental spaces and hard-to-reach places.

The degree of hardness of the selected toothbrush is the next challenge.
The following applies: Soft bristles are particularly suitable for pain-sensitive teeth. Most people choose the medium-hard toothbrushes. However, plaque removal with harder bristles is by far more effective. Consumers who brush with softer brushes, on the other hand, should increase the brushing time for a good result. Furthermore, special toothbrushes are offered for children and braces wearers.

3. The wrong toothpaste

Even the seemingly simple choice of toothpaste should be well thought out.
After many people reach for the nicest tubes, there are a variety of selection criteria you should consider here. You should pay special attention to the so-called RDA value. This value indicates the extent of abrasion. It means Relative Dentin Abrasion. Toothpastes with particularly high RDA values achieve a high level of abrasion. This means that after a certain time, relatively much dentin, the part of the tooth that lies under the enamel, is removed by the toothpaste. Unfortunately, the RDA value is often not indicated on toothpastes. However, online you can find and compare many values of well-known brands.

If you have pain-sensitive teeth, exposed necks of teeth or use an electric toothbrush, you should not choose a toothpaste with a value above 50 RDA. Even if you have healthy teeth and gums, you should avoid particularly abrasive toothpastes with values above 80 RDA.

Furthermore, you should use a toothpaste with the highest possible fluoride content. Fluoride protects your teeth and increases resistance to bacteria and plaque.
Currently, there is constant debate about the effectiveness and dangers of fluoride. However, do not be concerned: Only an extremely high overdose can be harmful to health. As a rule, spit out the toothpaste after brushing. The smallest amounts that are swallowed are absolutely harmless.

Only when choosing a suitable children's toothpaste should a different salary be selected. Since children still swallow large amounts of toothpaste, you should prefer products with particularly low fluoride content. The fluoride value in children's toothpastes can be increased between the sixth and twelfth year of life. After that, the little big ones may also use the toothpastes for adults.

4. An unhealthy diet

Contrary to many expectations, a healthy diet also contributes to the prevention of caries and periodontal disease. In times, from which the fast food is not to be excluded any more, should be advised particularly to a tooth-healthy nutrition. Calcium-containing foods such as milk and dairy products help strengthen teeth.

Furthermore, the teeth should be given sufficient time between meals. If they are constantly surrounded by acids and sweets, plaque and bacteria cannot be destroyed quickly enough. As a snack, nuts are by far better than chocolate or other sweets. You should also be careful when eating fruit and vegetables. Fructose and fruit acids, which are also contained in juices, attack tooth enamel just as sugar does. Instead, whole grains and raw foods are a good alternative. The necessary chewing stimulates the flow of saliva. This neutralizes a large part of the existing acids.

5. Irregular visits to the dentist / no preventive care

Unfortunately, there is never a guarantee for healthy teeth. Therefore, you should never refrain from visiting the dentist every six months. The dentist can detect and protect developing caries and endangered areas at an early stage. If your teeth are already diseased, it is of course even more important to make an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible. To be able to limit the disease soon and to protect the other teeth, a visit to the dentist is inevitable. Furthermore, you may have already been advised to undergo a so-called PZR. Professional teeth cleaning is a dental service for preventive care, i.e. to protect your teeth. The costs for this are borne by the patient in the case of statutory insurance. However, many health insurance companies offer a bonus program, in the course of which the patient is reimbursed for a large part of the cost of a PZR.

At the beginning of a professional cleaning, your teeth are thoroughly cleaned and all plaque is removed. Discoloration caused by coffee, tea or smoking is also removed and the natural whiteness of your teeth reappears. After cleaning they are polished. This has the cosmetic effect of refracting light in the teeth, making them appear even brighter. The following fuoridation strengthens and protects your teeth again. Then your brushing habits and technique, as well as your oral hygiene, will be discussed. Here you can get more interesting tips and tricks from the professionals.

A professional dental cleaning should be done two to three times a year for the benefit of your dental health.