Choose the Right Tools!
Toothbrushes come in all shapes and sizes. Choosing the right one for you is determined by several factors including the size of your mouth. The brush should feel comfortable in your mouth, without you having to strain to open your mouth while using it. Is it easy to hold and use? Seems obvious, but some brushes are more ergonomically comfortable to use. Chances are if you have a smaller mouth, a smaller style brush will feel like a better fit for you. Ease of use helps encourage regular brushing.
Know Thy Toothbrush!
Too stiff or hard bristles can hurt your gums. A softer bristle provides a safer alternative to a medium or hard toothbrush. A harder bristle is more likely to wear away tooth enamel and damage gums. Traumatic tooth brushing may be caused by a combination of factors including too much pressure applied to the tooth surface, hard bristles, the frequency of brushing and quality of toothpaste used. If you have sensitive teeth, an extra soft brush may be the best option for you. Sensitive or not, use a lighter touch and don't overdo it.
Electric or Manual?
Ultimately It's an individual preference. The toothbrush is not always the solution or the culprit, often it is how the toothbrush is being used. Switching from manual toothbrush to electric can make it easier to do a more thorough cleaning. Keep in mind excessive brushing with either manual or electric both have their risks. Too much pressure and too frequent brushing can damage enamel, or the root of the tooth if the gum has already receded. Electric toothbrushes may make it easier to do a better job, especially if you have arthritis or other physical limitations in wrists, shoulders or arms.
Keep Your Brush Clean!
Leaving brushes on the counter expose them to germs from the counter, toilet or sink. Keep brushes standing upright in a holder. If you are storing more than one brush together don't let the brushes touch as this can transfer bacteria from one brush to another. Keep brushed clean by giving them a quick spray of hydrogen peroxide and then rinsing them and letting them dry out thoroughly. A moist brush is more likely to grow bacteria on it. When you are traveling, use a toothbrush cover that lets the air in, so the bristles can air dry in-between use.
How Is Your Technique?
Using wide, side-to-side strokes can scrape your gum line, and over time damage the gums. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and make an up-and-down motion, using short strokes. Make sure to brush the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of all teeth, including back molars. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh. Don't use overly hard pressure when brushing. Use a lighter touch.
Timing Is Everything!
Brushing 2 minutes twice a day is recommended, (up to three times a day). Any more than this may wear the enamel and damage your gums. To make sure each part of your mouth gets an even amount of brushing time, you can divide your mouth into four sections and spend 30 seconds on each. (Some electric toothbrushes can be synced up to a smartphone to monitor time and how you are using it.)
Choose Your Products Wisely
Not all toothpaste is created equal. Those that whiten or control tartar, can be too harsh and damaging to the tooth structure. If you are looking to whiten your smile, we offer a safer option of professional tooth whitening, without the harsh abrasives.
Ask your Dentist or Dental Hygienist for Personalized Recommendations
We can identify any issues or potential problem areas, and make recommendations based on your personal dental needs. We can also show you proper brushing technique, and provide suggestions of dental products to help you maintain excellent oral care.