The toothbrush is the best tool for oral hygiene, thanks to the mechanical action obtained with brushing that removes food and bacterial plaque residues both from the surface of the teeth and from the gingival area. The mechanical removal of plaque, in fact, is the basis of the procedures for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
When used correctly, the toothbrush can perform several functions:
The first flosses were made of silk and coated with a layer of paraffin wax. The silk was then replaced with nylon, which is more resistant and less expensive. The use of dental floss contributes to the mechanical removal of the bacterial plaque in the interdental spaces, an area not to be underestimated since the parts facing the adjacent teeth make up 40% of the total dental surfaces and are difficult to reach from the bristles of the toothbrush.
Correct and regular use of dental floss, especially in the evening after dinner, contributes to gingival health and reduces interproximal bleeding.
It is important not to traumatize the interproximal gum with vertical movements. The correct technique is to embrace the front tooth to the area to be cleaned and with a back and forth movement to overcome, with a controlled movement, the contact point and then clean the papilla area.
A vertical movement would result in a sudden click when the wire passes through the contact point with consequent trauma of the underlying papilla.
Dental flosses are divided into:
Also called an interdental brush, it has been designed to facilitate access to the space between the gum and teeth with bridges, surgically treated teeth and to facilitate the cleaning of orthodontic appliances or patients with little manual use of the dental floss.
They consist of bristles a few millimeters long, cylindrical or conical in shape and diameter varying according to requirements, and mounted on a handle that facilitates their use. The use of the brush must be done with an alternating movement back and forth, without forcing in the interdental spaces, and it is therefore important to choose it with the appropriate dimensions.
The toothpaste, together with the toothbrush, represents the product aimed at cleaning, health and maintenance of the aesthetics of the teeth. In fact, the definition of toothpaste refers to “substances or combinations of substances of cosmetic derivation specially prepared for the population to clean the accessible surfaces of the teeth”.
Traditionally, toothpaste is presented as a cream (also called toothpaste paste) but is also marketed in the form of a gel or with mixed compositions.
The main components of a toothpaste base paste are:
One or more components with specific activities can then be added to these substances:
The fluoride is one of the most common active ingredients of the toothpaste, with recognized beneficial effects in reducing the risk of tooth decay. Its local application, on already blunt teeth, is already recommended in children. Fluoride interacts with the carious process at 3 levels: it decreases the adhesion of bacteria to the tooth, has bacteriostatic activity and after the acid attack helps to remineralize the enamel.
Oxygenating agents such as peroxides and perborates: they have a certain antibacterial activity, but must be taken in the right quantities and only for a limited period of time.
Metallic salts (chlorides or citrates of zinc, copper and tin) with antibacterial activity, chelating effect on tartar and astringent properties. They have a metallic taste and cannot be used in combination with chlorhexidine.
The desensitizing substances act on the dentine tubules discovered by depositing mineralized substances. The most used are: strontium chloride, sodium citrate, potassium nitrate, concentrated stannic fluoride. The anti-tartar products have physical (abrasive) and chemical (chelating) action, in order to prevent the precipitation of calcium salts on the plaque. For this purpose, mainly abrasives and pyrophosphates are used.
The whitening products are based on different ingredients: carbamide peroxide / hydrogen peroxide, lichens combined with hydrofluoric salts, Aloe vera, white clay, active mineral salts and bicarbonate or other abrasive substances (silica, resins ..). The most recent are based on the combined action of tetrapotassium and sodium sorbitol.
A mouthwash is a solution used to perform mouth rinses and to improve mouth hygiene, along with other treatments, helping to prevent bacterial plaque. It is important that the rinse lasts at least 30 seconds and that the liquid comes into contact with all parts of the oral cavity.