Like many areas of your body, your mouth is another place for microorganisms to accumulate. Your oral health is more important than you might realise. Improper oral health can bring damage to your teeth, gums and the tissues surrounding it. Plus, poor oral hygiene could also lead to other health issues in your body including life-threatening cardiovascular diseases.
Just a simple step of brushing your teeth right can save your life and hassle of suffering from a toothache.
To shed light on the importance of brushing, we speak with Dr. Faiz Khaleed to learn more on the right ways of brushing your teeth and the importance of brushing your teeth.
1Twenty80: What is the right way to brush your teeth?
Dr. Faiz: The proper brushing technique is to brush on the labial or buccal surface of your teeth or referred to as the “smile surface” which is the teeth surface that’s visible when someone smiles. Start by brushing your teeth in a circular motion following the gums contour and brush the smile surface. Brush your teeth in a back and forth motion on the biting surface and inner surface in which are your tongue and palate surface.
1Twenty80: Can you brush your teeth too much and how often should you brush your teeth?
Dr. Faiz: Actually, no. However, it’s not necessary to brush your teeth more than the usual recommendation. At the very least, you should brush your teeth twice per day, once in the morning and another before bedtime.
1Twenty80: Is it right to brush your teeth very hard?
Dr. Faiz: It is not necessary for you to put a lot of pressure while brushing. The purpose of brushing your teeth is to remove dental plaque. It is a gel-like layer that develops through time covering the surface of your teeth. Plaque consists of bacteria that is harmful to your tooth surface, gums, periodontal ligaments as well as the surrounding tissue.
1Twenty80: What toothbrush should you use in terms of hardness and flexibility?
Dr. Faiz: When it comes to the type of toothbrush, using a soft toothbrush is the best in preventing damage to your gums. Besides that, using a soft brush prevents abrasion, which is commonly associated with incorrect tooth brushing techniques.
1Twenty80: Is it necessary to use a mouthwash?
Dr. Faiz: Absolutely! Some areas of your mouth are impossible for the toothbrush to reach. For example, the periodontal pocket, also known as the ‘gum pocket’ and the far-end of the last molar. Mouthwash will be able to clean these spots that are difficult to reach.
1Twenty80: Is it important to floss your teeth?
Dr. Faiz: Yes, it is important. Flossing can remove interdental plaque (plaque located between tooth). If left unremoved, those plaque harness bacteria that can eventually cause interdental caries (cavity). Usually this type of caries is not visible due to its secluded location and only will be discovered when pain arises.
1Twenty80: What is a common habit people tend to make which ruins their dental health?
Dr. Faiz: Smoking and drinking alcohol concurrently can cause a synergistic effect for oral cancer. To add on, drinking carbonated drinks results in tooth erosion. Another dental health issue that many experience is, causing an oral thermal (yo-yo) such as exposure to hot and cold. For example, sipping on hot soup while drinking ice water or having ice cream with a cup of hot coffee will induce micro cracks to the teeth in the long run due to the expansion and contraction of your teeth.
1Twenty80: What would your advice be to our readers when it comes to dental health?
Dr. Faiz: Besides the common advice like brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol and carbonated drinks. Also, after every meal you have or after drinking coloured drinks like coffee, tea and juices, gargle your mouth with room temperature water before you leave the dining table. A good flush will do wonders in the long run.