Dental care is as important as washing in everyday personal hygiene. It is much more than just brushing your teeth for a nice look. "Health begins in the mouth!" The meaning of this statement is often unaware to many people to the full extent. Careful tooth brushing prevents tooth damage and gum disease, as well as other, sometimes serious, diseases of the body. Especially for inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), the bacteria involved get into more areas of the body. There, they often damage the blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Overview of this article

Basic dental care: from childhood

As soon as the first teeth appear at about six months, the care of the deciduous teeth ideally starts. At first, of course, this is of course still the responsibility of the parents. From infancy, the children gradually take over their regular dental care independently. They can already brush their incisors by themselves from the age of 2. From the age of three, they are able to clean the chewing surfaces and thus the whole dentition. Nevertheless, parents should still be attentive and possibly assist with brushing their teeth.

Special toothbrushes and toothpaste with a mild taste make it easier for children and their parents to get used to it. Instead of scrubbing on the little teeth at first, kids learn an effective tooth brushing technique right from the start. Songs and rhymes for child-friendly dental care facilitate the healthy routine and can even convey the pleasure of brushing your teeth. Some parents still think that deciduous teeth do not need regular care as these teeth give way to permanent teeth after a few years. This is a mistake. Well-groomed, healthy deciduous teeth are already the basis for a later, as healthy as possible, permanent dentition.

Which cleaning technique is recommended?

When brushing, it is important to thoroughly clean all teeth, including the interdental spaces and to the gums. The gumline is also included, as there may be food residues and microorganisms between the gums and teeth. In addition, a gentle massage with the toothbrush strengthens the gums. Guide the toothbrush along the outside of the row of teeth in short and quick, possibly slightly circular movements. Also, you should brush "from red to white", ie from the gumline to the crown of the tooth, to remove bacterial plaque. If you are done with the outside, continue on the inside of the teeth before finally closing the occlusal surfaces of the molars with a gentle touch. Do not apply too much pressure when brushing your teeth, as this can permanently damage the gums and hard enamel.

After brushing, rinse your mouth with lukewarm water. Move the water through the teeth to flush out the last remnants of toothpaste and dental plaque.

The cleaning time to really care for the teeth thoroughly is considered a minimum of three minutes. This also benefits the effect of the fluoride contained in toothpaste.

Important to know: If you have eaten strongly acidic foods, such as citrus or sour pickled vegetables, please wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Otherwise before, your enamel can be sensitive to the gentle yet mechanical pressure of brushing your teeth and be damaged.

Cleaning the interdental spaces

Also consider the interdental spaces. The use of dental floss has proven to be effective in removing food debris where conventional toothbrushes are unable to reach. We recommend the purchase of a space brush or interdental brush in addition to your manual toothbrush. Such special toothbrushes for cleaning the interdental spaces are available in various designs:

  • Interdental brushes: Between the bristles in the usual length are several extra-long and possibly stronger bristles, which extend into the interdental spaces.
  • Spiral brushes: This is a small auxiliary brush that resembles a tiny, long-drawn fir tree and is inserted into the interdental space for cleaning. This type of brush is available in several thicknesses.

Which technique is best for cleaning the interdental spaces can not be answered in a general way. On the one hand, this depends on the individual dentition, on the other hand, on the personal preference and the manual skill. The following applies here: Trying is about studying and staying with it through regular care guarantees healthy oral hygiene down to the smallest angle of the tooth.

Which toothbrush is better: manual toothbrush, electric toothbrush or sonic toothbrush?

Is it a matter of faith or is one toothbrushing method superior to the other? Here too the personal inclination plays a big part. The following idea of ​​the three brushing methods will make your personal decision easier.

Brushing your teeth with a manual toothbrush

Brushing by hand with the manual toothbrush: simply better than nothing or actually effective? Until a few decades ago, this type of brushing was common practice. If someone had bad teeth at that time, this was hardly due to the exclusive use of the manual toothbrush. Even then, the causes of a bad tooth condition were the same as today, including increased sugar consumption - possibly in the form of sticky, strongly adhering to the teeth confectionery - as well as carelessly executed or a lack of brushing teeth.

Brushing is best done twice a day, more often if necessary. Thus, the caries-promoting dental plaque, also called plaques, do not last long on the teeth or do not even arise. In addition, plaques are the precursor of tartar. The danger of such deposits: bacteria settle in them, which convert the sugars contained in the food into acid. These are by no means just sugars from sweet foods or drinks. Also foods such as bread, cereals, fruits, quark dishes, ketchup and dressings contain sugar. Manual toothbrushes can easily handle such coatings, assuming regular use.

The method already explained in the section on toothbrushing covers all important areas of brushing and is particularly thorough. You should also pay extra attention to the transition area between the edge of the gum and the teeth. Brushing removes leftovers and first layers of coatings to prevent the formation of periodontal pockets, which can lead to periodontitis and periodontitis.

Using an electric toothbrush to brush your teeth

Granted, brushing with an electric toothbrush is a little more comfortable than using a manual toothbrush. It cleans faster and exercises a part of the recommended cleaning movements automatically. Also, an electric toothbrush must be carefully brought to all teeth areas including gums. If necessary, the additional use of special cleaning utensils for the interdental spaces is required.

With electric toothbrushes, the round brush head has meanwhile prevailed. Recommended is a round head, which not only rotates around its own axis, but also pivots back and forth. In addition to these "oscillating" brushes, there are still "pulsating" brush heads whose gentle tapping on the tooth further aids the removal of dental plaque.

Cleaning with the sonic toothbrush

In sonic toothbrushes oscillations are induced with a magnetically operated sound generator and transmitted to the brush head. Otherwise, as the name initially suggests, this does not clean the teeth by direct sound. Toothbrushing with the sonic toothbrush is similar to that of an electric toothbrush. Sonic toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes both clean thoroughly and gently. However, sonic toothbrushes have an elongated and thus relatively large brush head, which hardly reaches hard to reach places.

Which toothpaste is recommended?

For toothpaste and tooth gels, there is a rich selection. Even with cheap products you can often achieve good results. A glance at the contents informs you about possible preservatives, artificial flavorings and other expendable additives. An important value is the RDA value: the higher, the more aggressive the cleaning bodies are. The ideal RDA value is between 35 and 50. At values ​​of 70 and above, the paste gradually sloughs off the enamel. At levels below 30, it will not reliably remove plaque. For environmental reasons, please refrain from using pastes and gels with plastic cleaning elements.

General oral hygiene

In order to keep teeth and gums healthy for as long as possible, please generally pay attention to a comprehensive oral hygiene. This includes more than just brushing and gum care. An antiseptic mouthwash can additionally reduce the risk of caries. However, excessive mouthwash can disturb the oral flora. The tongue care should be as natural as brushing your teeth. Germs often settle on its uneven surface. As a result, it is easy to have bad breath, deposits and tooth damage. Brush your tongue with the toothbrush or even better use a specially developed tongue scraper with lamellae.

Which dental care for dental implants?

Dentures such as dental implants require as thorough care as real teeth. Plaque can form on implanted teeth as well and lead to damage to the gums (peri-implantitis). Negligent care of the teeth and gums suffers from gum firmness, which can cause loosening of implanted teeth. As already mentioned, the bacteria in the dental plaque also increase the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke, even with implants.

Dental implants do not release you from brushing your teeth. Maintain your fixed dentures as if they were your own teeth. They not only prevent denture damage, but also extend the beauty and function of your dental implants.