An app indicates whether the toothbrush is being used properly.Photo: lisagerrard99 – Fotolia

Regular and good oral hygiene is already important in childhood and, of course, later on. A toothbrush app on the smartphone motivates children to brush their teeth more thoroughly.

Greifswald – More than 700 bacteria are found in the healthy oral cavity. Most are harmless, but some types can make you sick. “To protect the  , the should be cleaned daily from the first tooth,” advises Christian H. Splieth of the Department of Preventive Dentistry and Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Greifswald.

The mouth health of three to seven-year-olds is the basis for the future dental health, stresses the pediatric dentist Margita Höfer. Regular and good oral care is to prevent later periodontal disease. This is an inflammatory disease of the tooth retaining apparatus consisting of bone and connective tissue.

However, according to a nationwide study on the  of children and adolescents in Germany (KIGGS study), the toothpaste reality is sobering. The toothputz behavior of children should be improved urgently. But how? Children Dentistry Höfer had for her master’s thesis at the University of Greifswald the idea that brushing with a three-dimensional detection program on the evaluate and record. It was based on the extent to which a toothbrush app on the smartphone affects the toothputz behavior and the dental health of children.

Who cleans properly, gets bonus points

“Children are easy for new things to inspire. And the smartphone usage is completely normal for them, “says Margita Höfer. It describes the procedure as follows: Children brush their teeth with a special, now commercially available toothbrush called Rainbow (available as electric or hand-held), which has a digital movement knife under control. Via a 3-D sensor system, the movement meter relays the toothpaste movements of the child to a smartphone via Bluetooth in real time. The  analyzes the tooth cleaning movements and compares them with ideal cleaning movements. The learning progress is then given to the networked smartphone. For improvements there are bonus points in the form of bears.

The study found that children with a toothbrush app on the smartphone brush the teeth much better. “This effect seems to last longer because six weeks after the app was shut down, the values were still good,” says Splieth.

The children with toothbrush app have reduced their dental care by 43 per cent compared to children without an app. Their gum bleed also decreased by 33 percent. The app also has the advantage that children can learn good tooth brushing if the parents have only a lack of knowledge about tooth hygiene.

“If the teeth are not cleaned well enough, the plaque, also referred to as plaque, increases. The pathogenic bacteria then gain the upper hand “, says the dentist Matthias Folwaczny, head of the section Periodontology at the Polyclinic for Zahnerhaltung und Parodontologie at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. If the tooth covering is not removed by brushing the teeth, minerals are deposited, and the covering solidifies. This tartar promotes the growth of the plaque in the direction of the tooth root.

Every second adult suffers from gum disease

This creates a gap between the tooth root and the gum, the so-called toothpaste. It represents a fantastic niche for the bacteria. cleaning, it is red, swollen and sensitive, “reports the Munich dentist.

As a result of the small war between diseased bacteria and the immune system, collagen and thus long-term connective tissue and jaw bone is destroyed. According to Folwaczny, in the group of the 35- to 44-year-olds and those of the 65- to 74-year-olds, about every second adult in Germany suffers from periodontal disease. In the case of persons over 70 years, even about 90 per cent of the inflammatory toothache disease is affected. The proportion of severe periodontal disease has declined overall.

Periodontitis is one of the main causes of tooth loss and as an inflammatory disease a general health risk.  diabetes. In the case of blood vessels that have already been damaged, zahner disease increases the risk of stroke, “says Folwaczny.

The earlier a periodontal disease is discovered, the better. Then more appropriate countermeasures can be taken. The toothpicks are cleaned, the teeth and the scalp are removed under the gum line, the root surfaces are cleaned and smoothed. If complete healing can not take place because of too deep pockets, then the dentist must become surgically active. The dentist can initially use rinses with antibacterial agents, but also antibiotics to limit bacterial growth. This does not bring much, however, because the bacteria in their biofilm on the tooth are mostly well protected.

After the periodontitis treatment, the patient is required. “He should thoroughly brush all the teeth with all surfaces twice a day. Special attention is needed for the interdental spaces. They can be cleaned with dental floss or, if there is no gum in the way, with special interdental brushes “, advises Folwaczny. And not to forget: An additional professional cleaning of the teeth once a year removes dental plaques, which have formed despite all toothpaste troubles.


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