You may believe you are doing all the right things when it comes to brushing your teeth, but a quick review may reveal a couple of things you didn’t know. Your dentist is a wealth of information when it comes to brushing habits, and welcomes the opportunity to share that knowledge with you during your dental visits.
How often do you replace your toothbrush? Probably not often enough. If you brush for two minutes twice every day, the bristles on your toothbrush begin to wear down in three to four months. If you continue to use a toothbrush with worn bristles, you may not be getting your teeth as clean as you may think.
You should replace your toothbrush at least four times a year making sure the toothbrush you acquire carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance. If you should become ill, you should replace your toothbrush to prevent recontamination.
You should be using a toothbrush with soft bristles. While a hard bristle brush may seem like it would do a better job of cleaning your teeth, it can actually do more damage than good resulting in premature gum erosion and wearing away precious dental enamel.
Your dentist may recommend an electric toothbrush to help prevent brushing with a heavy hand. An electric toothbrush does all the work – you provide the guidance. And a timer will alert you when you’ve brushed the recommended two minutes.
You should brush two minutes twice a day, but did you know there is a correct way to brush? Using small circular motions, focus on a section of teeth at a time making sure you brush the front, back, and top of all teeth. Do not “scrub” your teeth – minimal pressure is all that is needed to clean your teeth. Brush gums and your tongue as well to keep them healthy.
Make sure you store your toothbrush correctly. Rinse it thoroughly following use and store it upright allowing it to dry out between uses. Make sure it does not touch other brushes that may be stored in the same container to prevent cross contamination.
Finally, since many foods and beverages contain acids that can soften dental enamel, you should wait at least thirty minutes to brush after eating or drinking. Feel free to rinse, but you can damage enamel if you brush too soon.
For more information or to schedule your next visit, contact our team at The Dental Place today.