From The Nourished Life.
Recently I shared alist of natural toothpaste alternatives, but did you know that how you brush your teeth can be just as important as what you use on yourtoothbrush? In fact, the type of brush you use plays an important role as well!
Today Will and SusanRevak from OraWellness share instructions for the Bassbrushing technique, an important step in reducing gum disease, improving oralhealth and protecting tooth enamel.
WHY ISADDRESSING GUM DISEASE IMPORTANT?
The grim facts speakfor themselves:
· Over 90% of adults have some active form of gum disease at age 30.
· And gum disease isn’t just isolated to adulthood–a whopping 65% of 15 yearolds already show signs of active gum disease!
Given these statistics,we consider gum disease the elephant in the living room. Mainstream dentistryhas by and large dropped the ball on gum disease and has chosen to focus ontooth decay and the drill, fill and bill business model.
What starts as a littletenderness and swelling between molars turns to gums bleeding when flossing andchronic bad breath, then leads to receding gums and loose teeth, and eventuallycauses adult tooth loss.
Unfortunately, gum diseaseisn’t just about chronic bad breath and bleeding gums. Besides being the #1cause of adult tooth loss, research clearly demonstrates a link between activegum disease and the main diseases in our society.
Regardless of whetherwe are talking about arthritis, heart disease or diabetes, research has foundlinks how the “bad bugs” in our mouths contribute to suppressing immunity andthe breakdown of the system, resulting in disease. And rightfully so! If youthink about it, gum disease is a rampant bacterial infection that has directaccess to the whole body via the bloodstream!
While we can’t only brush our teeth tocreate optimal health, we can support greater immunological health byeffectively lowering the incidence of bad bugs in our mouths and the risk oframpant bacterial invasion of the body with specific oral hygiene habits.
Thankfully, we can lookback in history to find evidence unvarnished by greed or political agendas ofhow to address gum disease. Like other notable figures in health history suchas Weston A Price, Max Gerson, and Edward and May Mellanby, we have Dr.Charles C. Bass to bring light on the subject of gum disease.
To help place him inhistory, Dr. Bass was the youngest person to become a dean of a medical schooland the first person to carry a microscope west of the Mississippi River.
Dr. Bass was diagnosedwith advanced gum disease and instructed by his dentist to have all of histeeth extracted. Dr. Bass had already discovered many parasites using hismicroscope, so rather than take his dentist’s advice, Dr. Bass put his skillstoward figuring out what was causing the destruction in his mouth.
Using his microscope,he easily identified the same ‘”bad bugs” that plague most mouths today. Hethen set out to figure out a technique that would help to disrupt and removethe bad bugs from his mouth.
Through extensive trialand error, he created a toothbrush and technique that effectively disrupt andremove the bacteria from the teeth and gums.
As an example of history,Dr. Bass died an old man with all his natural teeth in his mouth. So, given thediagnosis from his dentist, Dr. Bass must have done something right!
WHY THEBASS BRUSHING TECHNIQUE WORKS?
The Bass brushingtechnique works because the focus is on disrupting and removing thebacteria that accumulate along and under the gum line and between the teeth.Created by extensive trial and error, the Bass brushing technique is veryeffective at reducing gum disease when used properly.
To be able toeffectively use the technique, we must understand that the “bad bugs” relatedto gum disease organize along and under the gum line, especially between themolars. So, our focus has to be to gently wiggle bristles down into these areasto break up the bacteria’s colonization efforts.
Unfortunately, signs ofearly gum disease are swollen, red, tender gums. Without consciousawareness that these are signs of gum disease, most people avoid brushing theinfected area due to discomfort around the swollen gums, which allows the infectionto continue unhindered.
THE RIGHTTOOL FOR THE JOB
What we have from Dr.Bass’ life are the Bass toothbrush and the Bass brushing technique. The Basstoothbrush differs from most toothbrushes in two ways:
1. First, the bristles are more spaced out and there are fewer bristles inthe brush head. What Dr. Bass found was most toothbrushes had too manybristles to effectively wiggle between the teeth and down into the gum line.So, he created a brush with much fewer bristles to be able to get down where thebad bugs thrive to disrupt and remove the bacteria. The same is true today asmost conventional toothbrushes have too many bristles to effectively use theBass brushing technique.
2. The second way the Bass toothbrush differs from other toothbrushes is thebristle tips on the Bass brush are rounded, polished and very smooth. See thephotos below to compare the rounded bristle tips of the Bass toothbrush and thejagged, rough cut bristle tips of many other toothbrush bristles.
Photo-1 : rounded,polished bristle tips of the Bass toothbrush
Photo-2: jagged, roughcut bristles of other toothbrushes
INSTRUCTIONSFOR THE BASS BRUSHING TECHNIQUE
First, hold thetoothbrush gently! We like to joke, we’re not cleaning a grout line! So, ratherthan hold the toothbrush like a scrub brush, hold it gently so your arm canrelax and apply the small movements required for the Bass brushing technique.
Here’s how to brush:
· Hold the brush at the commonly recognized 45 degree angle to the tooth andgum line.
· The main difference in the Bass technique is how small the movements are.The Bass brushing technique uses very small lateral strokes along the gum line.
· It’s almost like you aren’t “brushing” your teeth. Rather, you place thetoothbrush at a spot along the gum line and gently wiggle usingvery small, fine back-and-forth motions to get the bristles down between theteeth and under the gum line.
· Count to 5, then move to the next place with your brush and repeat.
· The small motion takes practice, but in time, you will be amazed at howmuch healthier your gums will feel!
YOUR TEETHWILL THANK YOU TOO!
Another big problemwith conventional brushing methods is that they damage the protective outerlayer (enamel) of your teeth:
· Research has shown that many folks brush their teeth too hard and damagetheir enamel.
· Many toothbrushes have rough cut bristles (rather than the rounded tipbristles on the Bass brushes) that can scratch enamel and irritate gum tissue.
· In fact, a main cause of receding gums is brushing the sensitive gumtissue too hard–with a toothbrush with rough cut bristles!
· Many name brand toothpastes use hydrated silica as an abrasive which hasbeen shown to etch teeth and damage enamel.
Putting these alltogether creates a situation where many people may be doing more harm than goodwhen brushing!
So, rather thandragging your toothbrush over the surface of the teeth, try out the Basstechnique and see how it feels!
About the authors:
Will and Susan Revakare the founders of OraWellness.They began their journey to creating greater oral health in their own livesover 15 years ago.
OraWellness offerstools and educational products to help you take control of your oral healthusing organic ingredients and inexpensive natural solutions. Chronic badbreath, bleeding gums, and other signs of oral imbalance can be a thing of thepast. Whether you are looking for gentle, effective daily care or a completesolution to effectively address oral imbalances (even advanced gum disease!),OraWellness can help. Learn more at www.OraWellness.com.
Elizabeth’s thoughts: I’ve been using the Bassbrushing technique for the past few months, and I am always surprised at howthe gentle wiggling motion leaves my teeth feeling so smooth and clean. And Ispent all those years thinking I had to scrub my teeth to death to get themclean! Now I realize the gentler method is not only more effective, butprotects my teeth and gums in the long run.
What do you think? If you have any thoughts or questions,comment below!