Although we have all learned how to brush our teeth properly from childhood at the dentist, kindergarten and school, the waiting rooms at the dentist are full. Most people have problems with tooth decay, gum inflammation and other ailments. Why should they, when we are all so enlightened and use so many complicated dental care products?

It’s simple: it can be done better. Because what we’ve all learned, while fine. But it’s not everything. Based on a pretty good book by a dentist named Ralf Petersen, I started thinking.

Teeth have only two enemies

Only caries and periodontitis attack teeth. Both are bacterial infections. So if you want to keep your teeth healthy, you just have to keep these two bacteria out of your mouth, put simply.

But what about tartar? Tartar is not a disease. Tartar as such is harmless at first. It is interesting to know when tartar forms: it is formed when the salts contained in saliva meet bacteria. The salts allow the bacteria to crystallise. Conversely, this means: no bacteria, no tartar.


Teeth are self-cleaning

Tartar usually forms where you can’t really get to with a toothbrush. This is in the spaces between the teeth and where the gums merge into the teeth. The fissures, the deep grooves in the chewing surfaces of the molars, are also more frequently affected. On “free space”, i.e. in the middle of the tooth, there is normally neither tartar nor caries infection. This is because our natural mouth movements clean the teeth all the time anyway. Saliva flows permanently around the teeth, cheeks and lips glide along the tooth surfaces when speaking and during involuntary movements.

The fissures and the spaces between the teeth are also not reached by the toothbrush. The reason for the fissures is that they are too small. The grooves are so fine that the coarse bristles of the toothbrush glide over them. The spaces between the teeth are similarly narrow, and here too most toothbrushes simply glide over them. This is why the dentist always reminds you to use dental floss. Interdental brushes are also often recommended. These brushes are fine enough to at least glide into the slightly wider spaces between the teeth and remove any residue so that saliva can do the rest.

Interdental spaces are extremely vulnerable Caries and periodontitis occur in 95% of cases in the interdental spaces. Both develop here. But with the right toothbrush you can also reach the interdental spaces. The secret is the solo prophylaxis. This is the method of Ralf Petersen. If the teeth feel rough, they need to be cleaned – so it’s very simple. Everything that feels rough is cleaned. And not only with a good toothbrush, but also with the so-called solo sticks. The sticks go where toothbrush and dental floss cannot. However, the application is not very easy. Find a dentist in your area who has mastered solo prophylaxis and have yourself admitted. You can also buy the special brushes there, which are not expensive. You don’t need toothpaste, because purely mechanical brushing is sufficient according to the method of Ralf Petersen. Interesting, isn’t it?

Fissures should be protected Fissures simply cannot be cleaned well due to their fine texture. If you want to be on the safe side, the fissures can be sealed with environmental materials. These are hard, compatible materials that are applied to the occlusal surfaces of the cleaned molars and allowed to harden there. They lie in the fissures and seal them so that no bacteria can settle there in food remains. If you are interested in this, you should look for a dentist who works with high-quality, well-tolerated and above all environmentally friendly materials.

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