Posts for tag: toothbrush
Henry Ford famously said a customer could have any color they wanted on their Model T “as long as it was black.” Those days are over—today’s cars and trucks come with a slew of options, and not just their paint color.
There’s something else with a wide array of possible options: your choice of toothbrush. Your local store’s dental care aisle has dozens of toothbrushes in a myriad of sizes, shapes and features. And many promise better hygiene outcomes because of their unique design.
It’s enough to make your head spin. But you can narrow your search for the right toothbrush— just look for these basic qualities.
Bristle texture. At this all-important juncture between brush and teeth, softer-textured bristles are better. That might sound counter-intuitive, but soft bristles are just as capable at removing bacterial plaque, that sticky tooth film most responsible for dental disease, as stiffer bristles. Stiffer bristles, on the other hand, can damage gums and cause recession. Also, look too for rounded bristles (gentler on the gums), and multi-leveled or angled ones for better access around teeth.
Size and shape. Toothbrushes come in different sizes because, well, so do mouths. Look, then, for a brush and bristle head that can comfortably reach all the teeth in your mouth. If you have problems with manual dexterity, choose a brush with larger grip handles. A brush that’s comfortable to use and easy to handle can make your brushing more effective.
ADA Seal of Acceptance. The American Dental Association tests hygiene products like toothbrushes. If they pass the association’s standards, the manufacturer includes the ADA Seal of Approval on their packaging. Not all submit their brushes for this evaluation, so the seal’s absence doesn’t necessarily mean a brush is of low quality. The seal, though, does tell you the product passes muster with dental professionals.
It often takes a little trial and error to find the right brush, but since you should change yours out every six months, it’s a small price to experiment. And, no matter how great the brush, it’s only as good at removing plaque as the hand that holds it. So, be sure you learn proper brushing techniques—that and the right brush will keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If you would like more information on choosing the right toothbrush, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sizing Up Toothbrushes.”
Brushing your teeth offers a simple way to remove plaque from your teeth, but brushing too often or not often enough can cause problems. Dr. Edward Yates, your Norwich, CT dentist, explains how often you should brush.
Why is brushing important?
Plaque, a colorless, sticky film that contains bacteria, constantly builds up on your teeth. The sugars in the foods you eat combine with the bacteria in plaque to produce acids. These acids cause bad breath and attack your tooth enamel, creating cavities. Brushing your teeth removes plaque and reduces your cavity risk.
Should I brush once a day, twice a day or eight times a day?
If plaque isn't removed promptly, it will eventually turn into a hard deposit called tartar that can cause gum disease. Tartar irritates your gums and can even cause them to pull away from your teeth. The spaces that form around your teeth when your gums begin to pull away are called pockets. When bacteria begins to grow in the pockets, your risk of bone or tooth loss increases. Once tartar forms on your teeth, the only way to remove it is with the special cleaning instruments your Norwich dentist uses.
Fortunately, brushing offers a simple way to avoid this unpleasant scenario. Brushing your teeth twice a day is very effective at removing plaque before it can turn into tartar. Although it might seem as if the more you brush the better, brushing too often can actually damage your tooth enamel and may even cause your gums to recede, in some cases. The problem is more likely to occur if you brush frequently and don't use a soft-bristled brush, or don't replace your toothbrush often. No matter what type of brush you use, if the bristles are frayed or flattened, the brush has become too abrasive and should be replaced.
How should I brush?
For best results, hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree and clean your teeth in short strokes no longer than the width of one tooth. Brush for at least two minutes to ensure that you've cleaned every nook and cranny. Floss at least once each day to remove plaque and food particles from the spaces between teeth.
Daily brushing and regular dental cleanings help you avoid cavities. If it's time for your next cleaning, call Dr. Yates, your Norwich, CT dentist, at (860) 889-6445 to schedule an appointment.