According to experienced dentist Dr. Lucie Sedelmayer, the new Curaprox CS 12460 velvet toothbrush – with 12,460 bristles – is a beautiful, modern toothbrush that represents a big breakthrough in dental hygiene.
Any activity that demands success needs to be approached methodologically, as though a ritual. It doesn’t matter if it’s sport, work or self-care. So what are the best ways to make the daily routine of oral care enjoyable for your patients? By recommending them a great, soft toothbrush and teaching them the right brushing technique!
We talked to Dr. Lucie Sedelmayer about how she motivates her patients to brush their teeth regularly, precisely and truly gently.
Dr. Sedelmayer, you are an experienced dentist who has been continuously working on educating both your patients and other dental professionals. Do you have any tips for your colleagues on how to motivate their patients to brush their teeth thoroughly?
Above all, the patient must feel that you, personally, practice the same techniques that you’re trying to teach them how to master. Prevention is important, and explaining everything to your patients from that perspective can really help.
It’s important for the patient to realise that a quality tooth brushing technique helps prevent a number of systemic diseases, and that it’s worth spending time brushing your teeth! Ideally, it’s best to brush tooth by tooth. The movements of the brush can be fast, but the time spent brushing your teeth must correspond to how many teeth you have and to your own capabilities.
Speaking from experience at your own practice – do you or your dental hygienist repeatedly go over the right tooth brushing techniques with your patients? Is it something that requires regular training with an expert?
Yes. As part of every preventive visit I review the right technique with my patients. It’s very important. Without remedial training, even an expert tooth-brusher will begin to deviate from the proper brushing technique and start making mistakes.
We all know that brushing teeth gently with a soft brush is more effective than brushing quickly with a hard brush. But why exactly is that? How do you explain this to your patients?
I usually tell my patients that a soft, dense toothbrush will clean their teeth more effectively because the surface of the bristle field is larger and the bristles are more flexible, allowing them to get into various hard-to reach grooves, crevices, and uneven dental spaces. More importantly, this type of brush won’t damage their teeth or gums!
It’s also important to explain that they don’t have to push down too hard on the brush in order for the bristles to get past convex surfaces. Using a lighter pressure also ensures they won’t traumatise their teeth or gums, and they won’t end up damaging the brush.
What’s the recommended toothbrushing technique when using a soft toothbrush with a larger number of bristles?
The toothbrush should be placed half on the tooth and half on the gums. Open your mouth in order to loosen up the jaw muscles, tilt the brush slightly so that the bristles point towards the groove between the gums and the tooth, and then try to brush in quick and small circles. This is what’s known as the ‘bass technique’. The more you manage to make the bristles ‘dance’, the more effective you will be. Applying the right amount of pressure is also very important and should be demonstrated to the patient by an experienced expert, doctor, dentist, or dental hygienist.
They say the more bristles a toothbrush has, the better it is for the teeth and gums. But what else should a patient or dental professional pay attention to when choosing or recommending a toothbrush?
The size of the toothbrush head is also important. If a patient can use a smaller toothbrush head, then they will be much better off because it cleans a smaller area which means more thorough cleaning, and it’s easier to clean those hard-to-reach places. It’s also much easier to handle. The bristle fibres should be made out of a material that doesn’t absorb moisture so that it doesn’t change volume, and the end of the bristles should also ideally be rounded.
Soft toothbrushes are suited for people with healthy teeth and gums. But what about patients who have sensitive teeth, periodontitis, or some form of gum disease? Is the use of a soft toothbrush even more strongly recommended?
Soft, dense toothbrushes are recommended for patients with healthy teeth and gums, as well as for patients suffering from diseases. These toothbrushes are effective and atraumatic. After undergoing a surgical procedure, we usually recommend using a special, extra soft surgical toothbrush for a period of time, while the mouth recovers. However, this extra soft surgical toothbrush is generally not as effective due to having too few bristles, but it will still get the job done.
Have you tried the new CS 12460 velvet? How does it compare to your experience with the CS 5460?
The velvet is a beautiful, modern toothbrush and represents a big breakthrough in dental hygiene. For my colleagues who are involved intensively in preventive dental care, this toothbrush makes a wonderful ‘gift’.
It is also good for patients who are well educated and understand the principles of how to brush their teeth properly. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to all my patients – only to those who already understand and appreciate the softness, density, and stability of the brush and to people with sensitive tooth necks. It’s not for beginners.
The 5460 is a perfectly usable, high-quality toothbrush that is widely accepted amongst patients because it doesn’t feel too soft; the 5460 is probably better suited for those with a history of bad dental hygiene habits, and is still a high-quality brush for the general public.