LIMITATIONS OF MECHANICAL BRUSHING
Although Dental Professionals routinely advise patients on good oral care habits, this advice is not always followed as it should be. Patients are often advised to brush for a certain length of time, however the patient's perception of the length of time spent brushing is not always accurate.1
Lack of brushing time naturally affects oral health. "The epidemiology of gingivitis and periodontal disease tells us that people do not brush well and, despite the widespread common knowledge that we should brush at least twice a day for two minutes, how many patients do?" 2
Dr A Roberts. The Dentist, 2008.
Compliance with brushing and flossing remains suboptimal
The Oral Health Survey 2011 by Department of Health Hong Kong found that:
– 77.2% of 35- 44 years old adults said they brushed their teeth twice or more daily3
– 12.3% of 35- 44 years old adults said they flossed their teeth daily3
Another study revealed that only 20% of patients regularly perform acceptable flossing.4
Patients who have inadequate oral hygiene are frequently re-trained in correct brushing and flossing. Despite improvement, plaque may not be fully removed. The pictures show that even after brushing and flossing re-training, plaque remains.
Mechanical cleaning with a toothbrush and floss/interdental cleaning is a mainstay of patient self-care and such techniques are the best way for a patient to remove plaque, and yet more than 60% of the population still has visible plaque.1
- Yankel SL et al. Patient perception of brushing time compared to actual care. J Dent Res 1981: 60: 619 (Abstr 1241).
- Roberts A. Patients' compliance. The Dentist December 2008: 44–46.
- Oral Health Survey 2011, Department of Health, Hong Kong, 2011.
- Lang WP et al. The relation of preventive dental behaviors to periodontal health status. J Clin Periodont 1994; 21: 194–198.