When it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene, the toothbrush is the most important tool in your arsenal of oral care products. Keeping your smile bright and beautiful requires getting the most out of your toothbrush and the way you brush your teeth. The following offers a few helpful tips you can use to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
A Good Toothbrush Isn't Hard to Find
Finding the right toothbrush can seem like a complicated endeavor, but it's not as hard as you'd think. All you have to do is keep these brush hunting tips in mind:
- Go with the softer brush – Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a hard brush to get rid of plaque or stains. Your dentist will likely recommend you use a soft bristle brush for most of your oral hygiene needs. If you have sensitive gums or if you're recovering from a recent dental procedure, then you may want to use an extra soft brush.
- Choose the right size – Size matters when it comes to choosing a toothbrush. The actual brush head should be large enough to offer an effective cleaning surface, but small enough to maneuver around tough-to-reach areas. The toothbrush handle should also be long and ergonomic enough to comfortably hold in your hand.
No matter which toothbrush you choose, always make sure it features the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance on the packaging. This ensures that you're getting a quality product that is capable of keeping your teeth clean when used properly.
Manual or Electric?
An electric toothbrush offers a great deal of convenience when it comes to maintaining your oral hygiene, especially if you have arthritis or another condition that prevents full-motion movement of your wrist. Most electric toothbrushes also come with a variety of convenient features, including a built-in timer that tells you the right amount of time to spend brushing.
When it comes to cleaning effectiveness, however, most electric toothbrushes are on par with their manual counterparts. However, experts have found that electric toothbrushes that offer rotation oscillation motion (as opposed to the back-and-forth motion of most standard electric toothbrushes) are more effective at cleaning teeth than a comparable manual toothbrush.
How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?
Most experts recommend that you change your toothbrush once every 3 to 4 months or whenever you see wear and tear on the bristles. This not only helps prevent complications from excess accumulation of bacteria, but it also ensures that your teeth are cleaned effectively.
This advice applies to both manual and electric toothbrushes. Fortunately, most electric brushes feature a detachable head that can be easily replaced when the time comes. Also, it's a good idea to toss your toothbrush after you've recovered from a cold or other transmittable illness.
Developing Good Brushing Habits
Even the world's fanciest toothbrush won't help keep your teeth sparkling clean unless you have the good brushing habits to go with it. If you want to get the most out of your toothbrush, take note of these important tips:
- Make brushing your teeth a twice-daily event – This should be done when you wake up and before you go to bed. Some dentists recommend brushing after each meal, if possible.
- Take time to brush your teeth – Instead of brushing for just a minute, make sure you brush for two to three minutes. Don't forget to floss afterwards.
- Don't brush too hard – Applying too much pressure could be just as harmful to your gums as using a brush that's too hard. Use gentle motions to avoid irritation and other complications.
- Always use fluoride toothpaste – Fluoride helps fight off the conditions that contribute to tooth decay.
Most importantly, keep in mind that brushing alone isn't enough when it comes to maintaining your oral hygiene. Regularly scheduled visits to your dentist are also the key to keeping your smile bright and healthy. For more information, look at this site.