Dentistry and oral surgery - Dental hygiene

Eduardo Anitua Clinic


Oral hygiene is important preventive measures to increase the resistance and good health of your teeth

Oral hygiene for children

Oral hygiene starts from the moment the first tooth appears. From this moment, the parents can clean the tooth with gauze. When there are more teeth, the same routine must always be followed. Also clean the tongue and cheeks. For children between 0 and 3 years of age, the Spanish Society of Paediatric Dentistry recommends: use a gauze pad, a silicone thimble or an infant toothbrush with toothpaste containing 1000 ppm (parts per million) of fluoride ion, in an amount equivalent to a grain of rice or a small spot. Although at two and three years old children may be inclined to clean their teeth without help, it is important that the parents monitor them and clean the areas that the child might miss

The ideal age for the first appointment with a dentist is two years old, although many wait until five. At such early ages, both brushing and other aspects of the child's oral hygiene basically depend on the parents. With this visit various objectives can be achieved: losing any fear of dentists and starting a habit of periodical visits, detecting possible caries, checking the development of the dental arches and maxillary bones, and checking eating habits and the application of fluoride.

Between 6 and 10 years old children must gradually take responsibility for their dental hygiene. They can also start to use dental floss

The best toothbrushes for children have soft bristles and a rounded tip. It is better if the head is smaller and the handle thicker than adult brushes

Dental hygiene for adults

Tooth brushing
The most appropriate brushing technique for preventing dental diseases is called the Bass technique. It consists of placing the brush between the gum and the tooth and making circular movements while remaining in the same place.

The brush must have soft bristles and a relatively small head and must be changed every 2 or 3 months. The pressure exerted must be light. This type of brushing should last 10 s per section covered by the brush. The optimum time brushing should last is approximately 2 minutes.

Do not use too much toothpaste; an adult should use a pea-sized amount.

You must also clean your tongue with a back-to front movement, to remove any food remains, dead cells, mucus, bacteria,…

Use of tapered brushes
These remove the dental plaque from the side walls of the teeth and food remains from between them. Insert a brush of a suitable width into the interdental space and press against one tooth and then against the other, moving it in and out repeatedly. This lasts around 5 s, and must be repeated in all spaces into which the tapered brush can be inserted.

Use of dental floss
This also removes bacterial plaque from the side walls of the teeth. It is used when the gums covers all the interdental space and a tapered brush cannot be inserted.

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