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Related to toothbrushing: flossing


The act of cleaning the teeth and gums by using a soft brush specifically designed for this purpose. The toothbrush consists of tufts of soft, synthetic fibers or natural bristles mounted in a handle that may be straight or angled for better access or brushing action. It is usually used with fluoride toothpaste (a mildly abrasive, flavored dentifrice) in a manner suggested by dentists and dental hygienists as being a suitable method for cleaning. The proper use of a toothbrush stimulates periodontal tissue. See: hygiene, oral; periodontal disease; plaque, dental

Good oral hygiene, consisting of proper brushing of the teeth with a soft-bristle brush, use of a fluoride-containing toothpaste, and daily use of dental floss, will help to prevent dental plaque. If brushing or flossing causes bleeding, pain, or irritation, a dentist should be seen without delay.

Some people with conditions that limit motion of their hands may have difficulty holding and using a toothbrush. This may be overcome by attaching the brush handle to the hand with a wide elastic band, or the handle may be enlarged by attaching a rubber or foam ball to it. Those with limited shoulder or elbow movement may find that lengthening the handle by attaching it to a long piece of wood or plastic is beneficial. In addition, an electric toothbrush may be of benefit.


If the toothbrush used has hard bristles or if any toothbrush is used too forcibly, gingival tissue may be eroded and damaged.
See: Physical Conditioning Exercises: Quadriceps, Gluteal, Arm and Dangling

Patient discussion about toothbrushing

Q. modificatiobns of toothbrushes and newer versions different types of brush-heads and their benefits with diagrams

A. not depended clinical trials about the differences of toothbrushes showed there are minor differences in efficiency. it's not the toothbrush but what do you do with it that counts.

Q. Which type of toothbrush is the best? Electric or regular?

A. i think that is the most ancient debate of them all ? longer then mankind itself ?. Some people say that, other say this- but the truth is it doesn’t matter. It’s how you use the toothbrush that counts. If used properly even the simplest toothbrush can be satisfying.

Q. do you know what are the pros and cons of the Sonic toothbrush from Oral B (electric tooth brush)? last night, my best friend raved about it for a whole hour. My dentist told me to use a soft brush (number 35) to clean my teeth and that the electric brushes are a bit over rated. My friend specifically told me about the Sonic product and told me that it also makes his teeth whiter. I wanted to know if anybody has any knowledge or experience from first hand about this product or any good information about it.

A. Thank you for the frank answer. I wonder if I can find a really soft electric toothbrush

More discussions about toothbrushing
References in periodicals archive ?
The programme, which began in 2001 and costs around Au1.8 million each year, sees every nursery in Scotland offering free, daily, supervised toothbrushing for their children by nursery staff.
It is part of the Childsmile programme, which emphasises the importance of toothbrushing and helps parents establish a healthy diet from the earliest stage.
A number of nurseries and schools in targeted areas also provide fluoride varnish and toothbrushing in primary one and two.
Selection criteria: We included randomized controlled trials conducted comparing toothbrushing and flossing with only toothbrushing, in adults.
Main results: Twelve trials were included in this review, with a total of 582 participants in flossing plus toothbrushing (intervention) groups and 501 participants in toothbrushing (control) groups.
Authors' conclusions: There is some evidence from 12 studies that flossing in addition to toothbrushing reduces gingivitis compared to toothbrushing alone.
After brushing with a manual toothbrush a total of 5 volunteers had positive blood cultures and 3 of these had bacteraemia prior to toothbrushing. Similarly, with the ultrasonic toothbrush 5 individuals exhibited bacteraemia, but none of these had positive blood cultures prior to toothbrushing.
Bacteraemia was also evident on 6 of 33 occasions from samples obtained before toothbrushing. This may have been due to asymptomatic bacteraemia or to contamination during collection of blood samples.
The incidence of bacteraemia following use of the Sonicare Ultrasonic Optima was lower as it is possible that this toothbrushing system, relying on high-frequency brush strokes (31,000 per min) and sonic waves, may induce less gingival trauma during brushing.
(17.) Runn-Gunn AJ, MacGregor IDM: A survey of toothbrushing behaviour in children and young adults.
(4.) Glass RT, Martin ME, Peters LJ: Transmission of disease in dogs by toothbrushing. Quintessence Intern 1989;20(11):819-824.