Dentist Explains:What did Oscar Isaac do wrong in Scenes From A Marriage?
photo credit: tumblr.com
In episode 2 of the HBO show Scenes From A Marriage, a character played by Oscar Isaac was manually brushing his teeth with an electric toothbrush. It’s the same thing I saw not so long ago when my friends posted a video on Instagram doing their morning routine where one of them was using this same apparent ‘technique.’ I personally started using a sonic brush in 2013. And over the years—of course, with the help of my dentist—I have managed to advance my oral hygiene routine. I asked my dentist, Dr. Klempner, DDS, from Diamond District Dental, to explain the common mistakes many of us make when brushing our teeth.
words — Dr. Klempner, photograper — SASHA LYTVYN, introduction, set-design — MARK PRESTON
Toothbrushes have not been around all that long (just since the mid-18th century), but, in the last eighty years give or take, the improvements in technology and design have been quite dramatic. The first electric toothbrush was patented in 1939. Presently, there are two main types of electric toothbrushes: sonic and rotary. Each claims superior results, but there are two factors that determine how well they help you maintain your teeth.
CORDLESS WATERFLOSSER — WATERPIK
Sonicare ExpertClean 7500 — PHILIPS
1. Mechanical action of the bristles.
In the first instance, electric brushes are all designed to do the work for you. All you have to do is maintain light contact of the brush with the tooth surface. Some even alert you if you are pressing too hard. With the sonic brushes, just like the manual ones, you need to angle the brush 45 degrees towards the gum until the bristles are slightly under the gum (2 mm into the pocket between the gum and the tooth). With rotary brushes, you need to press the brush against the tooth so the bristles will spread and get into the gum pocket while rotating.
Most of us have grown up using old-fashioned, 18th-century technology (manual toothbrushes). Of course, we are tempted to use the same brushing strokes while using an electric toothbrush—that is a mistake. Moving the brush around reduces the contact time between the bristles and the tooth/gum pocket making the brushing less effective.
2. Length and frequency of your brushings.
It ought to take 4 minutes twice a day to properly brush all your teeth (assuming you have a full complement). If you only have a few teeth left, perhaps this article is not for you. YouTube is a great source to view brushing techniques. Most electric brushes will time your brushing session, so you will brush for 3-4 minutes.
In addition to brushing, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to clean between your teeth. All brushes manual, or electric, are great to clean the front and the back of the teeth, but THEY DO NOT GET FAR ENOUGH IN BETWEEN. Yes, that means flossing.
Dental Floss — Reach
Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Poor brushing technique, infrequent brushing, and not flossing are major contributing factors to gingivitis and periodontitis. Yes. Gum disease is contagious. You can even get it from your pet, not to mention your partner.
My recommendation is to establish a routine of daily brushing and flossing so it becomes a habit. See your dentist regularly, too.