Healthy teeth are not only important for aesthetics. Complaints can increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. How to clean properly.
From Angela Stoll
How important healthy teeth are should have got around gradually. But how do I properly care for them? Do I need an electronic toothbrush or even a manual toothbrush, as is recommended flossing and should I leave teeth white – Questions about Questions. We asked experts for their advice:
How often should you brush your teeth?
The motto used to be: brushing teeth after every meal! Dentists have since moved away from it. “Bacterial deposits need time to develop their pathogenic effects,” says Prof. Dr. med. Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the Federal Dental Association. Generally applies today: twice daily thoroughly clean, even with children. Especially in the evening you should take it but with the oral hygiene exactly because the body produces less saliva during the night and the teeth are particularly vulnerable.
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Do dental floss and interdental brushes prevent tooth decay?
Yes, that’s what experts think. “The normal brush only reaches about 70 percent of the tooth surface,” says Austria. Special tools are needed to free the other areas from harmful deposits. However, flossing and interdental brushing did not perform well in efficacy studies. This may be because they are often misused. This is how Prof. Dr. Stefan Zimmer, President of the German Society for Preventive Dentistry: “Properly handling dental floss is quite complicated. That overburdens many people. “Some patients even injure themselves on the gums. “If flossing is used professionally, it has proven to be effective.” Even with interdental brushes (interdental brushes), many are difficult. “Especially older patients with limited fine motor skills sometimes do not catch the gaps,” reports Zimmer. In addition, the brushes are only effective if they are the right size. Decisive therefore is a good consultation with the dentist.
Are electric toothbrushes better?
Usually already. “Electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual toothbrushes when the brushing time is the same,” says Zimmer. Also a review of the Cochrane Collaboration certifies the electrical a slight superiority over conventional brushes: plaque is thereby removed more thoroughly. The best are the advantages for “rotating-oscillating” brushes occupied, in which a small head moves first in one direction, then in the other direction. “But the plastering technique is important here,” says Zimmer. “There are always users who scrub with it.” The brush, however, you have to lead from tooth to tooth and always along the edge of the gum. For people with limited fine motor skills, such as seniors and children, sonic toothbrushes are better suited. They have an elongated head and clean two to three teeth at once, with the bristles swinging rapidly back and forth. This is faster, but sometimes at the expense of thoroughness. Who manages well with a manual toothbrush, does not need to change. This will give you the same result as an electric one – it usually only takes longer.
Can amalgam trigger migraines?
Rather not. Although amalgam contains toxic mercury. Therefore, it has been discussed for many years, whether amalgam fillings are harmful to health. Allegedly, the substance plays a role in numerous diseases – from Alzheimer’s to hypertension to cancer. Scientifically proven that is not according to the Federal Dental Association. It is undisputed that some patients are allergic to the substance. “Basically, however, any filling material can trigger allergic reactions,” explains Oesterreich. Even gold is not always problematic because of additional substances in the alloy. Anyone who notices pain, redness or swelling in the mouth after a new filling should therefore go to the dentist. There may be an allergy. “Something like that is rare,” says the expert.
How much bleaching is acceptable?
That is unclear. First, who wants to whiten his teeth, should go to the dentist check. In case of caries or gingivitis, bleach can cause pain and even damage the dentition. In addition, a consultation is important: “You should first make a professional teeth cleaning. This often eliminates many discolorations, “says Austria. If the patient wants more, expert whitening usually does not harm his teeth. However, you should treat them after a break, so that the enamel is not attacked. “There are no scientific findings on how long the break should be,” says the dentist. “It’s clear that you should not blesch several times a year.”
How do dental problems affect the body?
In many ways. For example, it is believed that periodontal disease increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature birth and joint disease. “Scientifically best documented is the relationship in diabetes,” says Zimmer. Thus, periodontitis and diabetes mutually reinforce each other, in addition, the inflammation apparently plays a role as a trigger of diabetes. But even a chronic tooth decay can have serious consequences. Austria explains: “If the bacteria get into the bloodstream, a life-threatening blood poisoning threatens in extreme cases.” Apart from that, the toxins, the bacteria in a chronic caries constantly secrete pollute the body. This can lead to diffuse complaints. “Healthy teeth are essential for a healthy body,” emphasizes Austria. Themes follow