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Choosing a toothbrush seems like a simple task but walking down the aisle of the local drug store you will see countless options. The options can be overwhelming if you are unsure of what to look for. In many cases, toothbrush choice comes down to preference. The best toothbrush you can buy is one you will use at least 2x a day. Below you will find some tips on how to choose the right toothbrush for you.

Toothbrush Tips

-Should You Use A Manual Toothbrush Or An Electric Toothbrush? – Both types are very effective at maintaining dental hygiene. However, for some the electric toothbrush will work better. This includes children, those with limited dexterity, and many seniors. It all comes down to choice and preference here. Manual toothbrushing can be just as effective as using an electric toothbrush in the right hands.

-Hard Or Soft Bristles? – Stay away from toothbrushes with hard bristles. They are unnecessary and will end up doing more harm than good. Soft bristled toothbrushes are more than capable to remove plaque and food debris from our teeth. The goal is to clean our teeth not to damage them or the surrounding tissues.

-Small Or Large Brush Head? - This comes down to personal preference. A good toothbrush is one that is able to reach all areas of the mouth and also be comfortable. If a smaller brush head is more comfortable for you then choose that one.

-Toothbrush handle. Again, this comes down to comfort. Some toothbrushes have a grip to them and some do not. Use what is comfortable for you.

-American Dental Association (ADA) Seal Of Approval. This seal is earned by the toothbrush manufacturer once it proves its toothbrush is safe and effective in brushing our teeth. The ADA states that for a toothbrush to qualify for a seal of approval it must meet the following criteria:

-All components of the toothbrush are safe for use in the mouth.
-Toothbrush bristles are not sharp or jagged, and will not fall out with normal usage.
-Handle material has been shown to be durable with normal usage.
-The toothbrush can be used by the average adult to significantly decrease gingivitis and plaque build up.
-Electric toothbrushes must meet additional safety requirements. This includes undergoing at least one clinical investigation to show the product is safe and effective for use.

-When Should I Replace My Toothbrush? – A toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months or sooner if you notice the bristles are beginning to wear down. A worn down toothbrush will not maintain your dental hygiene as effectively as a newer one. It is a minimal cost to maintain your beautiful smile. Also, if you get sick, you should change toothbrushes after getting better so you are not reinfecting yourself with bad germs.

Toothbrush Choice Conclusion

So, the bottom line is to choose a toothbrush that is most comfortable for you to use. After all, if the toothbrush is uncomfortable to you, you will not use it effectively or regularly. See your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and dental examinations.

Your toothbrush is an essential part of maintaining any oral hygiene regimen.Walking down any oral health aisle in a drug  will show you dozens of different toothbrushes and other oral health aids. How do you choose the right toothbrush for you? Also, once you do make that toothbrush selection, do you know how to care for it properly?

Choosing The Right Toothbrush

The best toothbrush for you is one that fits in your hands properly, reaches all areas, is soft, and easy to use. Toothbrushes come in different shapes, softness, and sizes for a reason, we all have different size hands and mouths. You want a handle that is able to allow you to hold it firmly. You also want a properly sized toothbrush head with soft bristles that is able to fit easily into all areas of the mouth. It is critical to be able to reach everywhere to maintain good oral hygiene.

Electric Vs Manual

There is always a question of electric vs manual  toothbrushes. While, the electric toothbrush cleans more effectively, it is not for everyone. Whether it be cost, storage, charging, vibration sensitivity or personal preferences, the electric toothbrush may not be your number 1 choice. Use what works best for you, just brush with proper technique, and thoroughly.  Electric toothbrushes are especially important for those with orthodontic braces, older population, and those who just need a little extra help to keep their teeth clean. It is important to use a light touch when using an electric toothbrush, and to let it do the brushing, not you.  The oscillating heads can be harsher on your teeth and gums than a manual toothbrush when you scrub with it instead of placing it on one tooth at a time.

How Often Should You Change Your Brush?

Keeping a toothbrush too long will lead to an ineffective toothbrush. As a toothbrush gets used, it begins to fray and collect dangerous bacteria. The recommended rate of change is every 3-4 months for both manual toothbrushes and electric brush heads. A good tip is, if you develop a bad cold or the flu in between that time, you should change toothbrushes after the illness is over. This is to avoid reintroducing that bacteria back into your system. Might even consider using a disposable toothbrush while sick.

Cleaning And Storing Your Toothbrush

Proper toothbrush use should include rinsing thoroughly after each use to remove any excess toothpaste as well as any debris that may be left on it. A good tip will be to soak your toothbrush in an antiseptic rinse to eliminate any bacteria they may be harbored on your brush. Do not leave your toothbrush near the toilet area as the bacteria from the toilet can easily travel to your brush  upon flushing. If you keep it in the cabinet, dry it off before putting it away. There are also ultra violet tooth sanitizers that you can use.

Toothbrushes should be stored so that they are able to air dry. This usually means storing them upright either in the medicine cabinet or near the sink. Bacteria generally need a moist environment to grow and prosper. Another good tip is to never share your toothbrush with anyone, as it can lead to transmission of disease and bacteria.

Toothbrush Conclusion

A clean, effective toothbrush is necessary to keep up your oral hygiene on a regular basis. Brushing should be done at least two times per day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time. Keep track of how often you change your brush, and keep the holder clean and disinfected as well. As always visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations, professional cleanings, and new toothbrushes!

 

Tooth brushing has been a part of our lives since we can remember. It has become an activity that, for most, seems to be second nature. Brushing your teeth, as with any habit, can become tedious. You may forget the proper way and get sloppy, or may never have learned proper tooth brushing techniques to begin with. Improper tooth brushing technique can lead to many problems, including root and enamel wear, gum recession, cavities, and gum disease .

Tooth Brushing Mistake #1

-Choosing the wrong tooth brush. Not all toothbrushes are the same. Things to consider when choosing the right type of toothbrush include size of head, size of handle, and type of bristles. The head of the toothbrush should be the right size to enable you to reach all tooth surfaces. If you are straining to open wide enough to get the brush into your mouth, having a hard time cleaning around back molars, or banging into other teeth, then the brush is probably too large for you. The handle needs to be comfortable for you to use and fit your hand properly. The bristles should be soft to extra soft. If it the bristles are any harder, you increase surface abrasion.  Abrasion slowly causes wear and damage to your teeth and gums while brushing. As for manual tooth brush vs electric tooth brush, most research shows that electric toothbrushes get the teeth far cleaner than a manual brush, and if used properly, cause less abrasion.

Tooth Brushing Mistake #2

-Not brushing enough. This includes both, time of actual tooth brushing and the times per day you brush. It is recommended that you brush a minimum of twice per day for at least two minutes each time. Many of us do not brush for the recommended amount of time,instead brushing for only 15-30 s, this can definitely lead to insufficient removal of food and plaque bacteria. Brushing after each meal is ideal, removing food particles before they begin to cause problems. Timers can help you spend the correct amount of time, or humming a tune, many electric toothbrushes have an advantage in that many have a built in timer to monitor the time you are tooth brushing. Carrying a spare toothbrush or having one in your desk at work, may help you to brush more frequently.

Tooth Brushing Mistake #3

-Brushing too aggressively. Tooth brushing too vigorously can erode tooth enamel, expose the roots of the teeth, and wear away gum tissue. Erosion causes increased sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweets. Develop the proper tooth brushing technique utilizing the right amount of force to keep your teeth clean. An aggressive tooth brushing technique is difficult to change, especially if you have been doing it this way for a long time. Electric toothbrushes are ideal for changing technique, as you hold them over each tooth, letting the brush do the work, and do not “brush” with them.

Tooth Brushing Mistake #4

-Using improper tooth brushing technique. The tooth brush should be angled at a 45 degree angle and use short strokes when brushing. This will allow you to brush safely but also give yo the ability to remove the plaque at the gum line. The strokes should be soft, going up and down, and circular or vertical. Be sure to brush the outer AND inner surfaces of your teeth along with the chewing surfaces and finally your tongue.

Tooth Brushing Mistake #5

-Not Rinsing? Cleaning your brush. Bacteria will grow on an un-rinsed, wet toothbrush. If you do not rinse, and clean your toothbrush, you will be putting plaque bacteria back in your mouth each time you brush. Rinse and dry your tooth brush after you brush to help remove any leftover toothpaste, and rid of the moist environment that bacteria love. There are many techniques to clean your brush, including UV sanitizers, soap and water, and anti bacterial rinses. Keep your mouth cleaner with a clean, dry toothbrush.

Tooth Brushing Mistake #6

-Not changing your toothbrush regularly. The recommendation from the American Dental Association is to change to a new brush every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles appear worn.  Research shows us that, as toothbrush bristles splay, their ability to remove plaque decreases significantly. You know how often and how hard you use your brush, which will help you evaluate when it is time for a new brush. Do a visual inspection every so often to ensure the bristles still have their original flexibility. There are even some brushes now that have colored indicators on them to tell you when brushes need changing. You may need to change every 1-2 months if you are a frequent brusher.

Conclusion

Tooth brushing is a very important daily habit. The premise is simple, but the technique is critical to good oral health. It is never too late to learn proper tooth brushing technique. Don’t be shy, ask your hygienist if you are doing it correctly, he/she may have some great pointers for you. The next time you see your dentist  for a dental examination and professional cleaning, take full advantage of their knowledge, and ask questions. You may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome, healthier teeth and gums!

Taking a short or even a long trip is usually a fun experience but it can be stressful when it comes to what to pack. We try so hard not to forget the essentials, like packing

Dental Hygiene Marielaina Perrone DDS

Maintain Your Dental Hygiene While On The Road.

enough socks, underwear,shoes, etc. We try to be prepared for whatever the weather, and events the trip might involve. With all of hustle and bustle, many people overlook bringing travel friendly dental hygiene products with them when on the road. Maintaining our dental hygiene while on the road can pay real dividends to your dental health and your overall health. So what are some of the best dental products to keep up with our dental hygiene when on the road?

Best Dental Hygiene Products For Travel

The key to any of these products will be the actual use and the size. As we all know size is always an issue when packing especially when going on an airline these days.

-Traveling Manual Toothbrush. The traveling manual toothbrush may be a simple tool but it does perform well. It simply folds in half so the bristles are protected from dirt and bacteria while traveling. A good example of this is the Colgate traveling folding toothbrush. Just do not forget to brush regularly while on vacation.

-Travel size Electric ToothbrushSimilar to the at home version but just smaller. A very good example of this is the VIOlight Travel Toothbrush.  It runs on 2 AAA batteries and delivers quite a punch while weighing only 2 ounces. The best part about these brushes is they come in different colors and designs so no one in your family can mix up brushes.

-Toothbrush cover caps. If you don’t want to buy a special toothbrush, use your usual one, but pack it with cover cap. Colored plastic snap-on covers to keep your toothbrush from dripping on your other items, and to keep it clean. The different colors help you distinguish toothbrushes. These are very inexpensive, a package of 4 can be found in a dollar store.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Dental Hygiene

Practice Good Dental Hygiene To Maintain A Healthy Smile.

-Travel Size Fluoride Toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste is the cornerstone of any good dental hygiene regimen. You can bring the sample sized toothpaste you get from your hygienist at your next cleaning.

-Floss or flossers. Floss or packs of flossers are tiny and take up little space but pack quite a punch when it comes to dental hygiene.

-Travel size Mouthwash. Remember to keep this small(3.4 oz. or less). If this is in your carry-on, you will not be able to bring it on board if it is not the acceptable size. You don’t want to have to discard a larger bottle of mouthrinse. Remember, according to TSA regulations, all carry-on liquids must be 3.4 oz. or less and placed in a quart sized Ziploc bag, only one bag per passenger.

-Waterpik Flosser Travel Size. The waterpik is an excellent adjunct to any dental hygiene program. If this is a product you use at home, then you would not want to leave without it.

Dental Hygiene Tips While Traveling

-Do not forget to brush after every meal. If you are unable to brush immediately, rinse with water after every meal.

-Limit snacking.

-Carry sugar free gum with xylitol to chew if you are unable to brush.

-Always brush and floss before bed.

Dental Hygiene Conclusion

Maintaining good dental hygiene at home can be challenging, so doing it while traveling may be even more difficult. Our dental hygiene needs to be a routine in our daily lives even when we are far from home. To maintain good dental health as well as overall health becomes easier over time. The results of a good dental hygiene regimen are well worth it in the end.