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Dentists constantly complain that their patients, even their adult patients, simply don't know the proper way to brush their teeth. Chances are that your dentist gently reminds you of proper teeth cleaning procedures every time you come in for a checkup. It's really not that hard:
- Brush twice a day,
- Every day,
- For at least two minutes, and
- Don't miss any teeth.
However, researchers for P & G (Procter and Gamble, the consumer products manufacturer) have found that the majority of people in the United States and United Kingdom:
- Brush once a day,
- Nearly every day,
- For less than minute, and
- Miss their molars.
The human mouth is home to about 500 species of bacteria. Many of these microorganisms can contribute to bad breath and tooth decay. If you don't open wide and brush all your teeth, all the way to the gum line, you leave a smorgasbord of decaying food on which bacteria can feast. They form plaque, which eventually crowds the gum away from your tooth, and creates even more nooks and crannies where food particles can accumulate and bacteria can have a field day rotting your teeth and producing noxious odors.
The bacteria that accumulate on your gums can find their way into your bloodstream. Much as they die and create plaque on your teeth, they can die and create plaque in your arteries. Poor dental care, it turns out, is a major contributing factor for heart disease.
Ever since Oral-B was founded by American periodontist Dr. Robert Hutson in 1949, dentists have focused on building better toothbrushes for better oral hygiene. They replaced hard bristles with soft bristles. They replaced straight-edged bristles with rounded bristles. They have created bristles that fade as they wear, so users know it is time to buy another toothbrush, and they have created electric toothbrushes that rotate an astonishing 8,800 times a minute. In recent years, however, dentists have realized that they need to help their patients with their technique in addition to providing them with better brushes.
What are the sorts of things that tell dentists that their patients usually lack good tooth brushing technique?
- Most dentists can tell with just a quick glance whether a patient is right- or left-handed. Most of us tend to brush one side of our mouths more thoroughly than the other (usually the side of the mouth opposite the hand in which the toothbrush is held).
- Most dental patients need to have plaque removed from the same places at every visit. That's because most of us brush our teeth on autopilot, without giving any thought to whether we're giving our teeth the complete cleaning they need twice a day.
- Most of us make an effort to improve our oral hygiene by brushing longer, which is a good thing. However, not only do we all need to brush our teeth for a full two minutes every time we brush, we also need to make sure we are brushing all our teeth.
The new Oral-B Genius 9000 uses ingenious technology to make sure users brush primary teeth, wisdom teeth, all their teeth the right way.