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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!

 



Dental Hygiene is one of those things in life that takes just a small amount of time to give great benefits to our teeth and overall health. Luckily for us, there are some great dental products out there today that can aid us  in achieving the goal of good dental hygiene. It all starts with brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once per day. Consistency is the key to maintaining good dental hygiene.

Best Dental Products

1) Automatic Toothbrush. An automatic toothbrush is able to reach places that most manual toothbrushes are unable to. Another advantage of an automatic toothbrush is that they help prevent wear that aggressive manual brushing causes. Most automatic toothbrushes have a timer on them. This ensures that you are brushing for the proper amount of time. An automatic toothbrush is especially helpful for patients with limited dexterity either from age or disease. There are two types of automatic toothbrushes:

UltraSonic Toothbrushes. These toothbrushes can generate between 30,000 and 40,000 brush strokes per minute. By comparison, manual toothbrushing can only generate 300 brush strokes per minute. The bristles also rotate in the recommended back and forth motion needed to clean teeth and gums properly. Another plus of these sonic toothbrushes is that they have a patented cleaning action that actually directs fluid between teeth and below the gum line to gently remove plaque and food debris.

Electric toothbrushes. These toothbrushes can generate between 3,000 and 7,500 brush strokes per minute. Generally these brushes work by rotating in a circular motion. Some even have a dual action with pulsating motion added in as well to facilitate plaque and food debris removal.

Although individual designs differ, the bristles in the brush head are typically either set in a circular format that rotates (the entire head rotates in unison) or individual tufts of bristles within the brush head spin independently. Some electric toothbrushes have both a rotating as well as a pulsating motion to help remove plaque and reduce gingivitis.

2) Water Irrigators with Periogen. the most common being the waterpik ultra. Most people do need these to aid in dental hygiene (especially those with bridgework, implants, and braces). The irrigation helps to stimulate blood flow to heal gum tissue, remove hard to reach food particles, and get up to 6mm into a periodontal pocket. Recently a new product has come to market called Periogen. Periogen is a unique product in that it is an oral rinse that removes tartar buildup between professional cleanings. The waterpik aids in getting the periogen oral rinse below the gum line and in between teeth.

3) Disclosing Solution. This is generally used for kids but can apply to adults having trouble keeping their teeth clean. The disclosing solution is used as a rinse and it will color the plaque and food debris on your teeth making what you normally miss during brushing very visible. You are able to then remove  any residue of color remaining and know what you need to do next time. Its a great visual tool to really make a difference in your oral health.

4) Flossers. While there are many new flosses that do a great job (such as reach total care), many patients do not floss regularly. Luckily, a product has been developed called a flosser( such as reach access flosser). Makes cleaning between teeth as easy as can be.  These are also helpful for those with limited dexterity as well as children.

5) Tongue Scrapers (also called tongue cleaner). This will allow you to remove food debris, fungi, dead cells and bacteria that builds up on the tongue. The benefit of this will be better breath. Decaying bacteria produce volatile sulphur compounds on the rear of the tongue.  These molecules account for about 85% of all cases of halitosis (bad breath). Scraping your tongue every night at bedtime can alleviate your bad breath.

Dental Hygiene Conclusion

There you have the top picks to aid in your dental hygiene. Dental hygiene is something that must be done consistently every day to have its greatest benefits. As always see your dentist for regular dental examinations as well as professional cleanings to keep your mouth healthy. Having a clean mouth will lead to a healthier you!



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!