Plaque (Bacteria in the mouth) is the major etiology for gum diseases and dental caries or tooth decay; therefore, daily plaque removal is critical to long-term success of all dental treatment. Carefully performed daily home plaque control, combined with frequent professionally delivered plaque removal, has been demonstrated to reduce plaque; thus decreasing the total number of harmful oral microorganisms. The daily use of a toothbrush and other oral hygiene aids is the most dependable way of achieving good oral health. Plaque control efforts must focus on improved brushing and cleaning the oral cavity that require mastering.
As bacterial growth takes place within hours of brushing all individuals should completely remove plaque from the teeth at least once every 24 hours.
Chemical inhibitors of plaque and calculus that are incorporated in mouthwashes or toothpastes also play important roles in plaque control. Fluorides are essential for control of tooth decay or dental caries. Many products are available as common adjunctive agents to mechanical techniques. These medicaments, as with any drug, should he recommended and prescribed according to the needs of individual patients.
Generally, toothbrushes vary in size and design as well as length, hardness, and arrangement of the bristles. When recommending a particular toothbrush, ease of use by the patient as well as the perception that the brush works well are important considerations.
Use of hard toothbrushes, vigorous horizontal brushing, and use of extremely abrasive dentifrices may lead to cervical abrasions of teeth and recession of gingiva.
Some novel toothbrush designs intended to make difficult-to-reach areas more accessible have been marketed. The cleaning efficiency of the toothbrush has been more attributed to individual brushing skill rather than toothbrush design. Thus practice and training is very essential to maintain a good oral hygiene.
Typically, comparison studies of powered toothbrushes, manual toothbrushes, or other powered devices demonstrate slightly improved plaque removal in a short-term clinical trial. However, a distinct overall advantage for any one particular product has not been demonstrated.
Toothpastes are made up of abrasives (e.g., silicon oxides, aluminium oxides, granular polyvinyl chlorides), water, humectants, soap or detergent, flavoring and sweetening agents, therapeutic agents (e.g., fluorides, pyrophosphates), coloring agents, and preservatives.
Many methods for brushing the teeth have been described and promoted as being efficient and effective. The scrub technique is probably the simplest and most common method of brushing. The method most often recommended is the Bass technique.