oral hygiene


dental care


The health and condition of the teeth and the periodontium affect well-being in a crucial way. Carious defects of the tooth substance and inflammatory processes in the area of ​​the gums, the tooth nerves or the jawbone can have a negative effect on the entire organism. First of all, the human heart is sensitive to high levels of bacterial swelling from the oral cavity, which can often cause inflammation of the heart tissue ( eg endocarditis ).

For this reason, regular and adequate oral hygiene is essential to health and should not be neglected.

oral hygiene

Only with optimized oral hygiene can teeth and gums be kept healthy in the long term and a beautiful smile be preserved. In addition to the quantity ( frequency ), however, the quality of the daily dental cleaning plays a crucial role. On average, it is assumed that approximately three minutes must be taken per toothbrush unit. This rule is not quite true. When brushing your teeth in the morning and having your teeth cleaned after meals, the use of a toothbrush is sufficient, so that oral hygiene can be carried out adequately within three minutes.
In the evening, however, you should allow more time for oral hygiene, because in addition to cleaning the large tooth surfaces and the cleaning of the interdental spaces (Latin interdental spaces) for a long-term dental health is essential.

Oral hygiene with the toothbrush

When it comes to the question of how to properly apply the toothbrush, even the expert opinions differ widely. Suitable toothbrushing techniques differ in places quite clearly from one another and sometimes contradict each other.
For this reason, it is obvious that the right type of toothbrush use depends on the individual tooth position of each patient. Dentists therefore offer so-called prophylaxis appointments in which a suitable brushing technique is simulated, trained and controlled at regular intervals by using special staining tablets. The most frequently recommended toothbrushing techniques with a manual toothbrush are circular ( circular ) brushing after "bass", the so-called charters method (especially suitable for patients with gum disease) and vertical brushing after "stillman".

In the course of toothbrushing to bass, the bristle field is set at an angle of approximately 45 ° to the gum obliquely. One half of the bristles come to rest on the gum or tooth surface. Starting from this basic attitude, small back and forth movements are carried out.
This has the advantage that the bristles reach a little way into the interdental spaces and can also remove soft deposits there. In the area of ​​the back of the teeth, oral hygiene is carried out by holding the toothbrush vertically and moving it along the tooth in shaking movements. This brushing technique is particularly suitable for oral hygiene in patients with periodontitis, because the loose contact between bristles and gums (Latin gingiva ) massages the gum line and stimulates blood circulation.

Toothbrushing technique according to Stillman Also in this form of oral hygiene, the bristle field is set at an angle of approximately 45 ° to the gum at an angle. One half of the bristles come to rest on the gum or tooth surface. According to Stillman, however, the toothbrush should be rolled off towards the tooth starting from this basic attitude. Also in this Zahnputztechnik the gum is massaged and stimulated its circulation, However, the disadvantage is the relatively limited cleaning of the interdental spaces ( interdental spaces). The oral hygiene according to Stillman is especially suitable for patients suffering from gum decline.

Toothbrushing technique according to Charters With the toothbrushing technique according to Charters, it is basically less about a real cleaning, as much more of a massage technique that can be used in addition to brushing teeth. Especially patients with severe periodontitis ( after periodontal surgery ) benefit from the positive effects of this type of oral hygiene. Even after charters, the bristle field should be directed obliquely at an angle of approximately 45 ° to the tooth axis. From this basic attitude, the bristle field is then led with slight pressure from the occlusal surface to the gums. Through small circular and jogging movements doing an intense massage of the gums, which stimulates the blood circulation. Especially for children, but also for adults with ideal tooth level, the so-called

KAI method as a toothbrushing technique in the course of daily oral hygiene. In this method, first the occlusal surfaces are cleaned, then the outer and inner surfaces of the teeth are thoroughly brushed. The respective tooth surface should be cleaned with small, circular movements. However, since it can generally be assumed that oral hygiene can usually be carried out more thoroughly and, above all, gum-gently with the use of an electric toothbrush, most dentists now recommend a changeover away from the manual toothbrush.

Oral hygiene of the interdental spaces

For complete cleaning of the interdental spaces (interdental spaces), in addition to the use of a standard toothbrush, an interdental space brush ( interdental space brush ) or dental floss must be used.
This is due to the fact that the bristles of a toothbrush despite the greatest efforts are not able to penetrate into the deepest furrows of the interdental spaces and for this reason settle deposits in such areas and harden to tartar.

In severe dental deformities, this problem is compounded, the result is often the development of gingivitis or tooth decay. The cleaning of the interdental spaces should be done before the actual brushing, because this ensures that the loosened pads can be completely removed with the toothbrush afterwards. Interdental brushes are manufactured in very different shapes, the most widespread are fir tree brushes and straight, flexible interdental space brushes. The appropriate size can be determined by the treating dentist with a so-called IAP measuring probe (Interdental Access Probing). This is very important because a too small interdental brush cleans only insufficiently and a too large either does not fit or can lead to injuries of the gums. Especially in patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment and wearing fixed braces, interdental brushes are indispensable in daily oral hygiene. The use of dental floss is usually too complicated in such cases and the cleaning effect is therefore insufficient.


Even with a mouthwash, a tooth decay or a periodontitis can not be prevented. Mouthwash is a supplement to daily oral hygiene. There are many differences between the mouthwashes in their function. There are mouthwashes to support dental hygiene, to suppress various disease-causing germs, or to produce only fresh breath. To improve oral hygiene, mouthwashes containing bactericidal and mineralizing ingredients are recommended. These include, for example, stannous fluoride or chlorhexidine. Although a mouthwash can not completely remove the deposits on the teeth, it can reduce them and thus have a positive effect on the oral hygiene. In any case, you should seek advice from the treating dentist regarding the recommended ingredients. Depending on the indication, the corresponding mouthwash may differ from the ingredients.

Determination of oral hygiene status

The oral hygiene status describes the current condition of your own oral hygiene. It consists of so-called indices, which detect the presence of plaque (microbial plaque) and inflammation of the gingiva (gums).

The plaque index provides a snapshot of the success of tooth brushing. The gingival index, on the other hand, provides information about general oral hygiene over an extended period of time. The signs of inflammation, which are recorded in the gingiva index, express themselves only after several days of very poor oral hygiene. Oral hygiene status is part of the dental treatment. To determine part of the oral hygiene status yourself, one can stain the teeth with a special dye solution available in the pharmacy and then rinse the mouth. The special solution only stains the plaque-affected areas on the teeth. It is very difficult to determine the exact value of the plaque index, as it is calculated by area and the deposits are mostly in the interdental spaces. However, staining can convey a first impression of your own toothbrushing behavior. The gingiva indices mainly record the bleeding behavior of the gums in contact with a special probe (WHO probe). The overall oral hygiene status should be recorded at the dentist and the risk of having periodontitis should be assessed.

Proper Oral Hygiene and Dental Care (December 2019).

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