Tooth Brushing- A double-edged sword?

Posted by Shri Lak N.C on Thu, Nov 16, 2017  
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‘Too much of anything is good for nothing’.

Though a clichéd adage, it is the most suitable for the topic in hand. Don’t get me wrong, brushing your teeth is vital for maintaining good oral hygiene and health, but, are we improperly overdoing it lately?

Dentistry has become a costly affair in recent times, but again, is it more costly than the damages you self-inflict on your teeth because of sheer negligence and ignorance?

Too many questions to begin with. Let’s start digging for answers.

‘You have your way. I have my way. As far as the right way?’

At least it exists in the way we brush our teeth.  

Being a dentist myself, I have come across a lot of patients for whom their brushing habits has brought in more ‘bane’ than ‘boon’. While ‘cavity formation’, seems to be the most discussed outcome of improper or no brushing, ‘cervical abrasion’ is another consequence that most of us are hardly aware of.

‘The constant abrasion of our lives makes the soil of our future growth’.

With ‘cervical abrasions’, you are only sustaining the future growth of more bacteria and compromising aesthetics. So what are these abrasions? Ever wondered why you have concavities or ‘v’ shaped depressions formed on the surface of your tooth/teeth, close to the gums. The culprit is lying somewhere in your bathroom stand, and face it! You have been an accomplice, and ‘sensitivity’ will be the penalty you will serve.

‘The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.’

For a fact, the ‘enamel’, which is the substance that the outer portion of our teeth are made of, is the strongest substance in the human body. So strong that it exceeds the strength of most metals. No wonder dentists use instruments coated with diamond grains to cut through enamel (because diamond is considered the strongest substance known to mankind!).

But this enamel is least thick at the neck of the tooth, the region where the crown and the root meet. Though strong, the enamel can ‘wear’, and this is exactly what a prolonged, improper brushing technique that is carried out with a lot of zeal, can do.

‘Before you attempt to set things right, make sure you see things right’.

Visit your dentist. Make sure you get informed of the right way to brush, the ‘modified Bass technique’, being one of the most commonly used and effective of most brushing techniques. There you go! In our era of the ‘Internet Revolution’, you are just a mouse click away from finding out about the same. But again, visit your dentist just to get things clear on what technique suits your oral condition the best.

With a pea size quantity of your toothpaste, on a soft bristled toothbrush (most of us don’t need a hard bristled one- we are not going to ‘war’!) and with the right technique, you are just two minutes away from maintaining good oral health. To put things in a nutshell, recall this mantra: ‘more technique, less vigour’.

‘Better late than never’.

Another cliché to conclude. Remember, toothbrushing should be a very proactive procedure. Think about it when you pick up your toothbrush, next time.


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