Plaque (Biofilm) Control and Dental Diseases
The practice of good oral care should begin at the earliest age by example and instruction from parents/carers with the introduction of a suitably small and soft toothbrush into the infant’s mouth. Daily toothbrushing for children and adults should be carried out with a small toothbrush for ease of access. All surfaces of the teeth should be cleaned: the biting surfaces and the sides of the teeth (facing the checks/lips and facing the tongue). A vigorous horizontal ‘scrubbing’ motion should be avoided as this can cause wear at the necks of the teeth. Powered toothbrushes are at least as effective as manual toothbrushes, and there is no evidence that they will cause more injuries to the gums than manual brushes. The use of dental floss and mini-interdental ‘bottle’-type brushes should be encouraged as interdental cleaning aids in addition to, and not instead of, effective and atraumatic toothbrushing. Of the many plaque suppressant agents that have been tested, chlorhexidine digluconate has proved to be the most effective under clinical conditions.
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