Getting The Maximum Benefit From Your Toothbrush
Basic but essential – taking care of your toothbrush and using it correctly
Hopefully, all of us will possess a toothbrush. It is the most basic form of teeth cleaning product that exists and has been used in one form or another for centuries. Even primitive societies have been found to use twigs from certain trees to clean their teeth, and their diets would be nowhere near ours in terms of the amount of sugar consumed.
Most recently, electric toothbrushes have proven to be a great success and the first significant change in toothbrush design for many years. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush though, our Alexandra Dental Care team offer some advice below that we hope will be of benefit for our Ashby, Swadlincote and Burton patients.
Don’t use a worn toothbrush
We have mentioned this before but it is always worth repeating. A toothbrush that has worn out bristles will not be effective at removing food debris and bacteria from the teeth, and especially from the more difficult to reach areas. If your brush or electric toothbrush head is more than three months old, it is time to replace it. Even if it is less than this, if the bristles look worn then please change them.
We suggest that you also replace these if you have had a viral infection such as the flu as the virus may remain on the toothbrush.
Brush your teeth correctly
There is no need to ‘scrub’ your teeth. Providing that the bristles on the brush are in good condition (see above), a gentle circular motion should be sufficient to keep them clean and not damage the enamel surface of your teeth. You should do this for two minutes (set a timer, it may be longer than you think it is) and do make sure to angle the brush towards the gums so that the brushing will remove bacteria and tiny particles of food from just below the gum line.
Use an appropriate toothpaste
There have never been as many different types of toothpaste available as there are now, and the choice can be confusing. Our advice is to ‘play safe’ and use a well known all round brand and avoid most of those that make additional claims, such as the ‘trendy’ charcoal toothpastes. Some of these can contain additional abrasive elements which can damage the surface of your teeth and lead to sensitivity.
There is just one ‘must have’ ingredient in a good quality toothpaste and that is fluoride. This helps to strengthen the tooth enamel and helps to protect against tooth decay.
Never share a toothbrush!
There are no circumstances in which it is OK to share a toothbrush; not even with those close to you. This is a sure way to increase the risk of infections including viruses and even gum diseases. For short term measures (such as on holiday) you can always buy a cheap manual toothbrush if you have forgotten your electric one. They may not be quite as effective but they will suffice until you return home. You should clean your teeth every day and if you don’t have access to a toothbrush for a day or so; you can even use a damp, clean paper towel to brush your teeth. Make sure to return to using a toothbrush as soon as possible of course.
Finally, just a reminder that you should also use dental floss on a daily basis. If you are unsure how to use this or find it difficult to do so, the hygienists at Alexandra Dental Care are happy to demonstrate this for you. Adding dental floss to your daily routine is a great way to help reduce the likelihood of gum disease.
Our dental practice serves patients from Swadlincote, Burton, Ashby and across the loca area. If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our dentists or hygienists, please call our reception team on 01283 216347.Google+