One of the most overlooked aspects of dental hygiene if your toothbrush. It’s something that we’ve all had since we even grew teeth and they are handed out for free at most dentist offices. It’s not something that we put much more though into after that. However, even though it’s overlooked, it is one of the most important aspects of dental hygiene. A proper toothbrush, suited for you, can help ensure long-term dental health.
The first step in proper toothbrush use, is simply choosing the right one! We’ve come a long way in toothbrush technology since the days that ancient civilizations used twigs to clean their teeth. Choosing the right toothbrush for you in essential in proper dental care.
The ADA suggests using a toothbrush with soft, rather than hard, bristles. Most people assume that hard bristles will create more abrasion and lead to cleaner teeth. While that’s not entirely incorrect, it’s also not entirely true. Softer bristled toothbrushes actually “flex” more than their counterparts and can reach areas that harder brushes cannot.
Next, knowing the size of your mouth is actually important in the process of choosing a new brush. Those with smaller mouths should opt for a toothbrush that is smaller in sizer, while though with bigger mouths should opt for a larger toothbrush.
Most of all, comfort is the key in purchasing a new toothbrush. Studies have shown that just having a comfortable toothbrush will allow brushers to brush more often and for a longer duration. Comfort comes in two varieties, the size of the brush head and the handle. We’ve discussed the head of the brush already, so let’s move onto the handle. Almost every toothbrush has a different handle in terms of thickness and curvature. The ADA recommends trying out different brushed until you find one that is comfortable to hold for a period of time.
Finally, the age old question of powered versus manual toothbrushes. Powered, or electric, toothbrushes have shown to be more effective in cleaning your teeth. Studies have revealed that electric toothbrushes can clean the same amount of surface area in just two minutes, when it would take a manual brush over eight minutes to achieve the same goal.
Now that you’ve found the right brush for you, you’ll need to know how to use it!
Most people know that brushing twice a day is ideal, however some experts recommend brushing after every meal, if possible. Using a fluoride based toothpaste can help fight off tooth decay and brushing your tongue can scrape off any excess bacteria.
Studies show that the most under-brushed area of the mouth is around the gumline. Experts suggest angling your brush slightly towards the gums when brushing this area. Additionally, a smooth, gentle brushing motion has proven to be the most effective so that you don’t damage your gums.
Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day for three minutes or more and replace your toothbrush every three to four months for optimal results!