How much teeth brushing is optimum, and which toothpaste is good for you?

Photo by Henrik Lagercrantz on Unsplash

It has taken decades' effort of toothpaste manufacturers to make the humanity brush regularly, although some of us are still not brushing as much as desired by them. Lets take a look - how much teeth brushing is actually optimum? And which paste is ideal for one's use?

Let's begin with - Why brushing is needed? 

Basic purpose of brushing is to remove plaque or biofilm that is formed by colonizing bacteria. If this film is not removed it may lead to cavities, tooth decay or foul smell. Besides this, brushing also keeps mouth and breath fresh. 

What is plaque or biofilm? 

Our skin and all body cavities are excellent spaces for microorganism to stay and thrive. This microbial population is known as microbiome or microflora or microbiota. Plaque is a part of our oral microbial flora or oral flora, which is quite diverged and has over 700 species. These species have a dynamic balance that depends on our eating and brushing habits. Prof Philip Marsh of Leeds Dental Institute (UK) is one of the most respected dental scientists of our time and as per him different loci in our mouth have different predominant microbial groups.   

Lips, Palate, CheekStreptococci, Neisseria, Veillonella
Tongue Streptococci, 
obligate anaerobes
Eubacterium, erties. 
obligate anaerobes,
Spirochaetes, Haemophili
Is oral flora necessary?   

Microbiome is an integral part of human cell eco system. Although there could be some microbes in mouth that may damage teeth or gums, most of them are harmless, many of them are beneficial and, some even essential. If resident microbial flora is suppressed by antibiotic usage, or is otherwise eliminated, many health issues emerge including vitamin deficiency, poor immunity, poor surface development and colonization by drug-resistant exogenous species. Most people these days are suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency and one of the key reasons for this could be usage of germicidal toothpaste. Vitamin B12 is primarily made by germs, and when it is produced by oral flora it gets well absorbed. 

Now, let's come to brushing

Like everything else brushing has good aspects and bad aspects, optimum brushing would be the one that keeps the good and not the bad.   

Good aspects of brushing  Removal of bad bacteria, freshens mouth and breath
Bad aspects of brushing  Removal of good bacteria, abrasion of dental enamel 

Key questions here are - When to brush? How many times to brush? And which toothpaste to use? But before answering these let us take a couple more - Do other animal species brush? Do they suffer from teeth or gum issues? No. It's only human animal that gets teeth and gum issue, and primary reason for this is not lack of brushing, but wrong food and eating habits. We are eating too many times and are eating acidic or acid producing sticky stuff. As a matter of fact, eating is self-cleansing, eating should make mouth cleaner than making it cleanable. We have dramatically cut down on chewing and eating fiber. 

Key answers and take-away are: 

  1. It's not a bad idea to brush in morning, but morning mouth stuff must not be spit out, it should be swallowed, it's rich in vitamins, particularly B12. Still, better is brushing after breakfast so that morning mouth stuff gets mixed with food and ingested well. 
  2. One shouldn't brush immediately after eating. Eating damages tooth enamel and it takes couple of hours for the surface to get restored. Brushing immediately after eating causes further tooth enamel abrasion. 
  3. One must never use a toothpaste that claims killing 99% germs. These toothpastes destroy the vital intrinsic oral flora. Always keep in mind 'Germs are Good Also'. 
  4. It's better to brush without a toothpaste than with any toothpaste.
  5. Using fresh natural brush 'datun' is amazing.
  6. Eating carrots or oranges is as good as brushing. 
  7. Don't keep grazing all day, use your mouth for eating maximum thrice in a day, and zero times in night. 
  8. Cut down on acidic drinks like colas and sweet sticky stuff like toffees, chocolates and traditional sweets.   
  9. And finally, tooth health is an indicator of overall health, those having strong health and immunity do not suffer from teeth and gum issues. Rather then fixing tooth issue in isolation, focus on strengthening overall health.              


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