Bloggin' along with 'MUSCLES'
c/o Carol Lee Skerpan DMD
a dental & doggy blog
' I know that it is important to know my teeth, where they all are and how to
get to them. I know a dental professional helps with all of that. But can you help
me to better understand correct-placement of the toothbrush, so I can avoid
destroying my teeth & "surrounding-structures"? (i.e., the PERIO-DONTAL struc-
tures reviewed in Blog 2-23-2018 & Blog 3-11-2018.) I think I get the GENTLE part.'
Right! GENTLE pressure & correct-placement are crucial even with a soft-small-
headed toothbrush. If one mindlessly brushes in large areas without focusing on
where the brush is or where it lands, it's a random effort. As a result, teeth are
skipped-over and not reached, leaving them unclean. And if one mindlessly uses
the brush without awareness of the 'gum-edge', destruction is more likely to occur
to the tooth, the gum, the bone OR ALL! Keep in mind, there is no gum-recession
without bone-loss! If you see the root or a "longer-tooth", there is NO BONE
THERE ANYMORE EITHER!! (See pictures below)
' "B-ow-ow-ow!!" If someone is not concentrating when they are toothbrushing, it
is easy to wear the TEETH AND the PERIO-DONTAL structures, for sure!! Again,
are there any basics of tooth-brushing which can help avoid such destruction? '
Actually, there are several toothbrushing techniques, but all require an under-
standing of the following 5 basic concepts. No tooth-brushing technique is
truly effective without understanding, practicing and mastering these basics.
1. Understand your teeth locations, their positions and how to reach each
small section---know how to get to all of your teeth CORRECTLY!
2. Develop a sequential tooth-order and follow it every time---you don't want
to skip or forget any teeth!
3. Don't attempt to use the toothbrush on more than 2 teeth at a time---
NO large areas!
4. Where you begin and "land" the toothbrush should be done with CAREFUL
and GENTLE correct-placements. AVOID "landing" on, direct heavy-pressure
on or "scrubbing" on the GUM-EDGE (i.e., gum-line)!
5. To keep direct pressure OFF the gum-edge, think brushing ON-the-TOOTH-
SIDE OR ON-the-GUM-SIDE of the gum-edge. The bristles WILL lightly
touch the gum-edge inadvertently anyway.
Think SIMPLY with the TOOTHBRUSH for starters--no fancy techniques yet:
---If starting ON-the-TOOTH-SIDE of the gum-edge with a manual toothbrush,
gently place the toothbrush EVENLY along the gum-edge. This position keeps
direct pressure OFF the gum-edge. In this small area, move the bristles with
controlled small wiggles &/or circles--then GENTLY direct them AWAY from
the gum-edge. Move to the next small area in your sequential order.
Watch NOT to "land" on the gum-edge!
OR--If starting ON-the-GUM-SIDE of the gum-edge with a manual toothbrush, place the toothbrush gently on the gum-surface AWAY from the gum-edge.
GENTLY stroke the bristles toward and along the full tooth-surface in this
ONE DIRECTION ONLY--STROKE ONLY TOWARD the tooth! This is NOT an
up & down motion!!! Lift the toothbrush OFF, and replace & repeat from the
starting position about 7-10 times. Move to the next small area in your sequen-
tial order. Watch NOT to "land" on or near the gum-edge!
---If using a round electric-toothbrush, keep gentle pressure ON-the-
TOOTH-SIDE--& stay EVENLY ALONG the gum-edge. Move the toothbrush
along each tooth in your sequential order.
---If using a non-round electric-toothbrush, stop at each small area ON-
the-TOOTH-SIDE of the gum-edge (as described above with the manual
brushing technique). However when you stop at each small area, keep gentle
pressure and let the vibrations do the "wiggling" for you. Stay EVENLY ALONG
the gum-edge, and move to the next small area in your sequential order.
' Let me do a simple doggy-summary:
1. Know where all your teeth are & how to get them.
2. Establish a sequential tooth-order to be used each time.
3. Keep to small-sections at a time.
4. AVOID "landing" on, heavy-pressure on, or "scrubbing" on the GUM-EDGE!
5. A soft-small-headed toothbrush should be carefully & GENTLY placed,
starting ON-the-TOOTH-SIDE OR ON-the-GUM-SIDE AWAY from the
' Flossing and other helpful suggestions for oral-care will be offered in my
June blogging. It's best to take one-thing-at-a-time, master it thoroughly
& then move on. A patient who cares about their Dental IQ will go back &
review their personal basics often---remember the mouth changes with
dental treatments, use, habits & aging! Stay-tuned for the next dental-blog
about helpful-tidbits with mouth care. '
(Also--check out my next blog @ 6-12-2018 'MUSCLES and His Was-Be Thinking'.)