New technology makes toothbrushing interesting
Getting children to brush their teeth correctly can be a real problem. Parents have to stay on top of them constantly in order to ensure that proper brushing is taking place. Researchers may now have come up with a workable solution to improve oral health that kids actually seem to enjoy.
The StudyWhen children normally brush their teeth, most of them will not brush as long as the recommended two minutes and they are often careless about brushing all of their teeth. This meant that the overall dental health of children was not improving. Some teeth are not going to be cleaned very well – which can lead to cavities and gum problems.
Researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center in Mainz, Germany knew that kids are now technologically savvy and decided to connect an electric toothbrush to a smartphone. It also has Bluetooth technology in it and it is interactive.
A strong reason to develop new solutions for kids is that they eat many more carbs than what is healthy for them, and yet they tend to brush less often and less thoroughly. Leaving sugar on the teeth is bad because some of the bacteria in the mouth produce acid when it eats sugar, and this leads to cavities and gum disease.
The research team took 60 participants who were between 13 and 17 and divided them into two groups. One group was given a manual toothbrush to each, and each person in the other group received an Oral-B electric toothbrush and a smartphone with a special app for the toothbrush. Each participant was evaluated for plaque at the start of the study.
The group with the manual toothbrush was instructed to follow their normal routine of brushing their teeth. The group with the interactive toothbrush and phone were told to follow the instructions given on the smartphone. Each group was told to spend a little more time focusing on areas that were largely ignored before.
After two weeks, the group was reevaluated. Looking at their whole mouth, the manual group only reduced their overall plaque score by just 1.7 percent. The group with the high tech toothbrush saw a reduction of 34 percent. This means a mouth that is much freer of harmful plaque, revealing a greatly improved oral hygiene. The group with the electric toothbrush also increased in the amount of time spent brushing their teeth going from 108 seconds at the start up to 143 seconds at the end.
The study shows that interactive electronics may be able to help young people improve oral health more when given the right tools. It helped the participants in the study to brush longer and more carefully.
About Gum DiseaseThe bacteria in your mouth are constantly building up an almost invisible layer on your teeth. Acid is being produced all the time. It not only leads to the formation of cavities, but also to gum disease. The first stage of gum disease is revealed by bleeding gums and gums that are red and inflamed. Brushing twice a day and flossing to remove the sugar and food between your teeth will usually enable you to eliminate it at this stage.
If the gum disease is not removed in the early stages, it can develop into the more serious stage called periodontitis. Nearly half of all teens have some form of gum disease. When it reaches this stage, you cannot eliminate it by yourself, but you will need the help of a dentist.
Periodontitis is not a separate disease from gingivitis but is the natural progression of it. It starts out by causing receding gums and they will start to pull away from your teeth. Spaces will develop between your teeth. Your gums become inflamed and you may see pus at the gum line. This is because the bacteria that causes it has free access to your gums at this point and an immune reaction has commenced that will destroy the gum tissue, the structures that hold your teeth in place, and even your jawbone. You will also have bad breath. Some teeth will become loose, and some may even fall out. Periodontitis is the major reason why adults are losing their teeth.
Develop Good Oral Health HabitsChildren have to be taught to have good oral health habits to keep healthy teeth. They will not stay healthy if the child (or adult) becomes careless with their oral health care. Teeth should be brushed twice a day for at least two minutes each time, and then flossed. This should be followed by parents keeping an eye on the condition of your child's teeth, and also making regular dental visits. Reducing their daily sugar intake is also important to keep healthy teeth.
While it is not necessary to have a high-tech toothbrush to ensure that you or your children can improve oral health, maintaining a regular and careful routine of brushing and flossing will certainly help. If you live in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas, you can get dental care for the family by seeing Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist. He offers a wide variety of dental services. For more information about his dental treatments, or to set up an appointment, you can call his office at (817) 756-8578.