If the mouth is the gateway to the body, your Tooth brushing Technique is the lock on the door. Just like obesity, gum disease is having a significant impact on the overall health of our population; and like obesity, gum disease has now been linked to a whole list of systemic diseases including Diabetes, Heart Disease, Pancreatic cancer, low birth weight and even Alzheimer’s. With just a few exceptions, both of these conditions are preventable given just a little bit of education
So why is gum disease on the rise, given all the latest, greatest, sonic, blue tooth connected toothbrushes?
Short answer: Because of how we are using that toothbrush, and what we are thinking while brushing.
The reality is that, it has never been about the type of toothbrush we are using. It’s been clinically proven that a $2.00 manual toothbrush can be just as good as a $150.00 brush, IF… used correctly, and that’s a big IF.
The problem is not the brush, it’s our Tooth brushing Technique
You see, most of us continue to brush exactly as we were taught back in the third grade, (up and down or in circles), additionally, when we brush, we are not thinking about brushing. We are thinking about our kids, our job, taxes, traffic, dinner, and the list goes on. Meanwhile our arm is operating on autopilot and we’re just along for the ride.
You may recall back in third grade when a dental professional came to visit and explained how to brush, what sugar bugs were, and the standard good foods vs bad foods spiel. More often than not they taught you to brush in circles or in an up and down fashion. Do you know why they taught you to brush like that? Because at the time, there was absolutely no way, whatsoever, that you would be able to grasp the ADA approved brushing technique called the BASS technique, which is 45 degrees into the gum line using short vibratory strokes. So they taught you a technique that would, at the very least remove some bacteria on the assumption that a less than optimal technique was still better than not brushing at all. You were taught an inferior brushing technique because your dexterity wasn’t developed enough for a more advanced technique.
Unfortunately we never stopped brushing like that.
That’s right! And its why so many of us have gum disease. We are still brushing like third graders. We have been misinformed and because of that, we have developed bad brushing habits that now put us at risk for serious health issues, not to mention tooth loss.
What if I told you that brushing technique is more important than the brush, the tooth paste, the frequency of brushing, or even flossing? What if I told you that the standard 2 min brushing drill was created for the 70% of us who brush poorly? It assumes, that even that even poor technique, can be mildly effective given enough time. Conversely, what if I told you that brushing for 45 seconds with good technique is all you really need, and it’s considerably more effective?
However, there is problem
Brushing according to the Bass technique is extremely difficult to learn and perform correctly. It almost requires sitting down with your dental professional, putting a mirror in your hand and having them brush your teeth to demonstrate what the BASS technique should FEEL like. I stress the word FEEL, because like many things, when you do it correctly it will Feel a certain way. When we designed the MD Brush we asked the question, “How can we make our toothbrush TEACH the bass technique”? Needless to say, it wasn’t easy; matter of fact it took seven years and a boat load of trial and error. The MD Brush, by way of its handle, bristles and indicators make you THINK about how you are positioning the brush head so that you will begin to FEEL what the BASS technique is. Most people claim that it takes about two to three days to fully grasp the technique and retrain the arm to brush using short “side to side” strokes. Users further state that the brush cleans like no other brush on the market and that they have no intention of going back to older brushes or techniques. We’ve even had several users who stated their dentist wanted to know what they were doing different, because their gum disease had all but disappeared.
To be absolutely clear, it’s OK for your kids to brush with whatever technique gets a brush in their mouth, but you should get them to start thinking about a 45 degree angle. Alternatively, if you are over the age of 18 you need to be using the BASS technique and more importantly you should be thinking about the sulcus when you brush. The sulcus It that little pocket just below the gum line where bacterial gum disease starts and it’s why we made the MD Brush the way we did.
“Brushing your teeth correctly FEELS a certain way. 70% of us have gum disease right now because we don’t understand what that feeling is”