Electric or conventional toothbrush? Would you rather avoid fluoride? And what good is professional tooth cleaning?
Getting your teeth perfectly clean is more difficult than expected.
Which toothbrush is the best?
Electric toothbrushes seem to clean teeth more thoroughly. The Cochrane Collaboration, which applies very strict criteria in its evaluations, came to the conclusion that battery-powered appliances remove 11 percent more plaque than traditional brushes. After three months, the users of the electric brushes recorded 21 percent less plaque.
However, there are major differences between the individual devices. In the most recent survey by Stiftung Warentest, only five out of ten scored well – including both the most expensive brush at 179 euros and two very inexpensive ones. The test winner was a Braun device, which cost 76 euros.
Which toothpaste is the best?
Stiftung Warentest gives most universal toothpastes good and very good marks. In recent years, the testers have found some natural cosmetic products that do not contain fluoride to be inadequate. It has been proven that fluoride makes teeth more resistant to acids and thus prevents tooth decay.
However, there are rumours that the substance is toxic. However, in order to suffer serious damage, adults would have to absorb amounts that cannot be achieved through the daily use of fluoride-containing toothpaste. There is also no danger if enriched mouthwash and salt are also used, as the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment calculates. In toddlers who swallow toothpaste more often, fluoride can cause whitish discoloration of the teeth. This is not a health problem, but a cosmetic problem that parents should discuss with their dentist.
Which brushing technique is the best?
There are many different recommendations for brush handling – circling, stroking, swinging, vibrating – but none has scientifically proven its superiority. Studies have also shown that people who did not use any special method did very well. The most important thing is to clean all teeth equally thoroughly from all sides. But this is a problem for many people.
Renate Deinzer, medical psychologist at the University of Giessen, who has conducted several studies on oral hygiene, therefore recommends a systematic procedure – for example, brushing all inner surfaces first, then the outer surfaces and the occlusal surfaces from back to front.
“The transition from tooth to gum is a very critical area, especially for adults. The plaque there is often not reached at all,” says the expert. When brushing, you should make sure that the toothbrush reaches the edge of the gums. As a rule, brushing for two to three minutes is recommended.
Do I need dental floss?
In fact, evidence for the measure is as thin as the thread that is to be pulled through the spaces between the teeth. Last year, the US authorities officially removed dental floss from their recommendations. The German Dental Association, on the other hand, may not separate itself from the utensil. “The everyday practice alone shows that dental floss is a useful tool for cleaning the interdental spaces.
Because the toothbrush only cleans about 70 percent of the tooth surface”. Larger gaps could be cleaned with interdental brushes. If the gap is narrow, “dental floss still appears to be the best solution for removing plaque,” the chamber said in a statement.
It depends on the space conditions in the denture – as well as on the technique of the user. Because many laymen do not use the dental floss correctly and do more harm than good, for example by damaging the gums. Renate Deinzer advises patients to have their dental practice show them how to use dental floss.
Do I need professional dental cleaning?
The IGeL-Monitor, which evaluates self-payer services for patients with health insurance, describes the effect of professional dental care as unclear. There is no examination that proves the benefit of the measure.
The procedure of the offerers does not seem to be also uniform, at least the prices range from 35 to 120 euro according to the portal. The recommendations on frequency vary between one and four times a year. On the other hand, no damage can be expected from dental cleaning. Those who feel comfortable with it can afford it.
Is chewing gum helpful for the teeth?
“Chewing gum actually has advantages for dental health,” says Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the German Dental Association. Grinding the jaws stimulates the flow of saliva. The spit cleanses the oral cavity, neutralises acids and promotes the remineralisation of the teeth. It therefore helps to store lost minerals in the enamel and make it more resistant.
The expert recommends chewing gum to prevent tooth decay, especially after eating. Any product that does not contain sugar is suitable. Most commercially available chewing gums today are sugar-free.