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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


n the use of a brush of varying design to brush the teeth and gingivae for cleanliness and to massage for oral hygiene. See also toothbrush.
toothbrushing, clock system,
n a technique where a clock or timer is observed to ensure that brushing is sustained for a predetermined amount of time.
toothbrushing, faulty,
n the improper performance of toothbrushing, resulting in defective cleansing, inadequate stimulation of the gingival tissues, and destructive effects on the teeth and marginal gingivae resulting from overzealous brushing.
toothbrushing, horizontal,
n a method of teeth cleaning considered more harmful than beneficial. Characterized by long, parallel weight-bearing scrubbing movements that tend to damage teeth and gingiva while neglecting crucial areas between teeth.
toothbrushing, vertical,

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 ?
Results: There were 290 potentially eligible articles, of which 12 articles on B-EOA fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were processed for data extraction (7 on toothbrushing, 1 on dental flossing and 4 on chewing).
Conclusions: Meta-analysis showed that plaque accumulation and gingival inflammation scores significantly increased the prevalence of bacteraemia following toothbrushing.
Bacteremia that originates in the mouth is defined as oral bacteria present in the bloodstream following dental procedures or everyday oral activities (B-EOA) such as toothbrushing and flossing.
In other words, a periodontal debridement or tooth extraction is a one-time event, whereas toothbrushing potentially occurs multiple times daily.
Meta-analysis could only be completed on the toothbrushing studies because 4 of the 7 B-toothbrushing studies that met inclusion criteria reported similar outcome measures for plaque and gingivitis.
There are data to support a relationship with toothbrushing indicating that lower plaque and gingivitis scores are correlated with less prevalent bacteremia.
According to the CDHA position paper, previous research studies have shown that floss holders, interproximal brushes, wooden sticks and power flossers are effective adjuncts to toothbrushing for interdental cleaning.
For adults, flossing is an effective adjunct to toothbrushing for reducing gingivitis
There is not sufficient evidence to indicate that flossing significantly reduces plaque beyond toothbrushing alone
In children, evidence supports only daily professional flossing--evidence supports toothbrushing and fluoride therapy for caries prevention
Although bacteremia following toothbrushing was related to oral hygiene, gingival or periodontal status, the relationship of bacteremia to systemic health has not been established