You know that brushing your teeth is important. But have you ever given much thought to the kind of toothbrush you use?
Beck Dental Care is here for you! We’re talking about brushing your teeth the right way with the right tools in today’s blog. You might discover you’re already well-equipped. Or, you might have one more thing to add to the shopping list!
If you abide by the American Dental Association (ADA), you already brush your teeth twice daily. You’re also brushing for at least two minutes each time. Beyond that, there are some ADA recommendations you may not be as familiar with.
Something to keep in mind is that you want to wait about a half hour after you eat to brush your teeth. The idea is that when you eat, the sugars in what you eat and drink feed plaque bacteria in your mouth and create acids.
Once that happens, it begins a process where your tooth enamel is under attack. The acids put your enamel in a softened state, so brushing right away may do more harm than good. Give it about 30 minutes before you brush your teeth.
Another factor regarding time has to do with how long you’ve had your toothbrush. Many times, we just use the free toothbrush we get at the dentist’s office after a checkup. But actually, you should be replacing your toothbrush about every 3-4 months. You don’t want to wait until the bristles have frayed too much, because then it won’t clean your teeth as effectively.
What To Look For In A Toothbrush
Every brush is different. You might be drawn to a particular toothbrush for its color, its grip, or whether it’s powered or not. What matters more than these features is the size of its head and the type of bristles it has.
The ADA recommends you choose one with a smaller head and soft bristles for maximum tooth cleaning ability. You have a lot of ground to cover when cleaning your teeth, and a smaller head size makes getting in the nooks and crannies a bit easier. Softer bristles seem to be most effective in removing plaque and debris.
The average adult would want to look for a head that’s about an inch long by ½ inch wide. With a brush head that’s too big, it won’t be able to clean your back molars as well. However, one that’s too small won’t get the surfaces as well.
The important thing is that you choose one that feels comfortable for you. The grip and head flexibility are both just a matter of comfort and have little to do with the cleaning power of your toothbrush overall.
Some might wonder if an electric toothbrush is better. This is still up for debate. While regular and electric toothbrushes can both be equally effective, there are some cases where a powered one may be more beneficial.
If you have arthritis, for example, or you tend to be more prone to cavities and decay than the average person, an electric toothbrush may offer better dexterity while brushing. A manual is just fine for the average adult who follows proper guidelines and brushing techniques for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Another Bit Of Dental Care Advice
Even with the perfect toothbrush and excellent brushing technique, you still need support from your dentist in maintaining good oral health. A professional dental cleaning and exam from Beck Dental Care will allow you to stay on top of what’s going on inside your mouth. When it comes to oral health issues like gum disease, you’ll need help from the professionals who have the skill and the tools to catch symptoms early and treat them effectively.
Make sure you schedule an appointment with us at least once about every six months. There could be exceptions to this timeline depending on how prone you are to tooth decay and cavities, and whether you have a history of, or at a higher risk for, gum disease or oral cancer.