Dry Brushing - Are they Effective?

How Dry Brushing Could Help You

Instead of applying water and toothpaste to your toothbrush, dry brushing your pearly whites may help you brush your teeth better. Although you do not need to do it very often, there are some things you can learn from the experience.


Dry Brushing Benefits

There is no doubt that adding toothpaste and water will provide a better experience – as well as giving you a better taste. Occasional dry brushing teeth can help you with better overall dental health. One benefit is that you can still feel the plaque on your teeth. Many types of toothpaste have oil in them that tends to help your teeth feel slick – probably slicker than they are in reality. This is because the oil makes your tongue glide over the tooth and remaining plaque, leading you to believe that your teeth are clean and free of plaque.


Dry brushing will let you feel the way they really are – probably leading you to see that you need to brush longer. Experiments have revealed that when people dry brush their teeth that they usually will brush longer.


Another experiment revealed that dry brushing for six months reduced the amount of bleeding of the gums. This is a sign of gingivitis, which can be removed by brushing twice a day and flossing.


Another benefit is that you will learn how long it takes to do a good job. Without the water and toothpaste, you will see how long it takes to be thorough. Running your tongue over your teeth after brushing will help you find spots that you have missed – or at least that you need to put a little more effort into removing the plaque.


Another one of the benefits of dry brushing is that you will be able to tell how clean your mouth is by the taste in your mouth. Flavored toothpastes tend to make you think that your mouth is fresher than it really is. Not using toothpaste lets you find out the true condition of your teeth and gums. Most likely, you will brush longer to get rid of the foul taste.


Why Plaque Needs to Be Removed


Every day there is a layer of bacteria that builds up on your teeth. There are millions of bacteria in your mouth all the time, and more than 500 different kinds. Some of these bacteria produce acid whenever it comes in contact with sugar. When you leave the bacteria on your teeth, it means that the acid is slowly eroding away the enamel – creating holes in it that will eventually become cavities.


The same bacteria and acid cause gum disease. The bacteria get into your gums and then the gums become inflamed – and it spreads. As the infection spreads, it starts destroying your gums, the ligaments that support your teeth, and your jawbone. Over time, your teeth will become loose, and then may fall out – or need to be removed.


A Better Dry Brushing Experience


In order to get the best benefit out of dry brushing, you want to do it outside of the bathroom. This is because you likely have got used to spending a certain amount of time on brushing your teeth. What you need instead is to be sure that you brush until you do not feel any more plaque with your tongue. Take as long as necessary.


Dry brushing has been found to be almost as effective as brushing with water and toothpaste. The difference is that you have the benefit of learning more about your own toothbrushing quality.


The Causes of Plaque Buildup


There are some things that can cause plaque to build up faster on your teeth. When it does, you will have a faster rate of dental erosion, which will lead to an increased number of cavities. Plaque builds up faster when you consume a lot of sugary foods and drinks. This includes sodas, specialty coffees, teas, fruit juices, and sports drinks.


Some drinks and foods will rapidly increase the erosion of the enamel on your teeth. This is because they contain a considerable amount of acid. Drinks that contain a lot of acid include sodas, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, tea, and coffee.


Brushing Is Not a Substitute for Flossing


Dry brushing, or brushing with water and toothpaste, is not going to get your teeth as clean as they need to be to completely protect them. It will only remove the plaque from the visible surfaces. In order to get in between your teeth, where the bacteria are producing acid every day, you will need to floss daily. It really does not matter whether you use regular floss or a water flosser – flossing daily is important.


Avoid Brushing Too Hard

When you get in a rush in the morning, you probably tend to brush harder than usual because you are in a hurry. You should use a soft toothbrush and not press hard on your gums. This can wear away your gums and irritate them, which can cause gum disease and expose the roots of your teeth to bacteria and acid.


Making sure that your teeth stay in their best shape for many years requires frequently removing plaque from teeth. Dry brushing can help you discover problem areas which could lead to dental decay. If you need teeth cleaning and tartar removal, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist can help you. His offices are located in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas. For a consultation or dental treatment for better dental health, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.

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