“A toothbrush can become a weapon”
Fruits and vegetables are healthy – but can be harmful to the teeth.What to look for when cleaning, and are electric toothbrushes better? An expert gives answers.
Mr. Frankenberger, is teeth brushing dangerous for the teeth?
It can be dangerous if you brush with the wrong technique, doing too much pressure or making it too long. In Germany, however, rather too little than too much is cleaned, so less the duration is a danger than a wrong technique. A toothbrush can become a weapon by rubbing horizontally against the gum with firm pressure. The gum is thereby damaged and also the tooth. The result is exposed teeth, which can also be prone to tooth decay.
Which technique is the right one?
This horizontal scrubbing is unfortunately relatively widespread. There is the technique of moving the toothbrush over the tooth surface in small circles and then brushing it towards the tooth. This is a good technique. It is ideal, however, to apply the toothbrush to the tooth at a 45 degree angle, then to loosen the tooth covering by means of a jogging movement and to eject it to the tooth. However, studies have shown that such instructions are not implemented very well. Often one is highly motivated directly after the dentist’s visit, to implement everything correctly, but mostly one falls relatively quickly back into old behavior patterns.
Is it better to use an electric toothbrush?
If you have the money left, in any case. The electric toothbrush can easily do anything better. It makes the jogging movement by itself and you just have to guide it from tooth to tooth and from tooth to tooth. It also has the charming advantage that you can finish with it with the same result sooner. With the hand toothbrush, it takes about three minutes to get the best technique with the right technique, with a machine brush often enough two minutes.
How to find the right electric toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes, which you get from 50 Euro in the pharmacy or in the drugstore market, are mostly good. Some of them solve dental implants with ultrasound, others with a mechanical vibration technique. Both are equally effective.
Many people have grown up with the advice “brush teeth after every meal”. Is this wrong in today’s view?
What is really proven to protect the teeth is to brush teeth twice a day. So in the evening, very thoroughly and ideally also with dental floss and in the morning again to get a fresh taste and especially an effective amount of fluoride on the teeth. Who also brushes the teeth at noon to have a cleaner feeling in the mouth – gladly. This is not a mistake, but to have fewer caries, it does not have to be.
Can cleaning be harmful immediately after eating?
Only after sour food. If you have eaten apples, oranges or tangerines, you should wait half an hour. A milk product then improves remineralisation and neutralizes the acid. But I would still pass between the acidic meal and the cleaning half an hour. You do not even need a toothbrush to ruin your teeth with fruit. There are patients who eat so much fruit that the occlusal surfaces have practically disappeared.
All nutritionists advise eating a lot of fruit. How much is too much from a dental-medical perspective?
I am talking about patients who feed almost exclusively on fruit. The dietary experts’ tips, on the other hand, range from five fruit or vegetable portions per day, which is no problem if the 30 minutes between chewing and brushing are respected. I would like to warn about soft drinks like cola. Just when they are drunk over a long period of time, the teeth are permanently exposed to the acid.
Can solid teeth brushing and acidic meals lead to hypersensitive teeth?
Yes, if the teeth are already insensitive, the damage has already occurred. It is better if it does not even begin. This can be achieved with proper toothpaste technology and through proper nutrition by not eating constantly, but for meals and by not always eating soft drinks. Also, one should not move acidic beverages such as Coke in the mouth back and forth, because the teeth even more exposed to the harmful influence. These precautions are of course also useful when there are already complaints, so that they do not get any worse.
Can a toothpaste, which should work against sensitive teeth, eliminate the damage?
No – but she can greatly reduce the discomfort. Today there are several toothpastes which are very effective. In the case of sensitive teeth, tooth fuse and dentin, the bone-like tissue, are mostly absent at the tooth neck at the transition to the gum. This leaves the tissue free and the tubules contained therein leading to the nerve. The nerve is easily irritated and painful. The toothpicks against sensitive teeth clog these nerve tubules, then the hot-cold sensitivity ceases. When these special tooth creams are repeatedly applied, the protective film is retained, and the discomfort disappears. If this does not help, it is also possible to apply thin plastic fillings in the area.
Can a chewing gum end an acid attack after eating?
The great advantage of chewing gums – when they are sugar-free – is the stimulation of the saliva production. Saliva is the best protection for your teeth. It rinses the teeth and neutralizes acids. If there were no saliva, the teeth would dissolve quickly, because minerals are constantly being released from the tooth. The saliva remineralizes the tooth constantly, that is, it feeds calcium and phosphate to it.