One-third of adults are under-brushing or over-brushing their teeth, according to Dentistry Today.
Following National Brush Day earlier this month, let’s revisit proper techniques for brushing your teeth.
Start by Choosing the Right Toothbrush
When it comes to toothbrushes, advances in technology have led to more options now than ever before. While you may have a short list of trusted brands or styles you enjoy most, an abundance of options means newer features, which may be worth exploring.
Bristle textures are nothing new, but did you know your preference could significantly impact the health of your teeth and gums? Most dentists recommend soft-bristle toothbrushes because applying too much pressure can damage the enamel on your teeth.
Manual vs. Powered
Think you know which is better? Both manual and electric toothbrushes can be used effectively, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Electric toothbrushes offer extra power when brushing teeth, without a negative impact on tooth enamel. Soft bristles also are an option for most electric toothbrushes.
Many toothbrushes sold today are composed of plastic that’s not recyclable because small parts get stuck in machinery. However, the use of bamboo and other sustainable materials to make toothbrushes is growing. That’s great news considering most adults will use 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime.
New technological advances have helped to make adequate cleaning easier, in a shorter amount of time. Also, like other personal care devices, some electric toothbrushes connect to smartphones and deliver insights about the user’s technique.
Do More Expensive Toothbrushes Enhance the Brushing Experience?
Manual toothbrushes are commonly more affordable than electric toothbrushes. But when it comes to getting the most for your money, Consumer Reports encourages buyers to consider investing in an electric toothbrush due to the slight edge they offer for cleaning plaque and preventing gingivitis.
However, if not used carefully, electric toothbrushes can damage gum tissue below the teeth. This is why it’s always a good idea to talk to your dentist about your toothbrush. And why regular checkups are so important.
Tips for Brushing Teeth Properly
Oral health impacts overall health, so proper dental hygiene is important. Consider these tips from the ADA to improve your toothbrushing routine.
- First, the Basics: Dental professionals recommend brushing teeth for two minutes, twice a day. They also recommend soft-bristle toothbrushes.
- Improve Your Technique: In general, the ADA suggests placing the toothbrush against the gumline at a 45-degree angle to remove plaque from above and below the edge of the gums that surround the teeth. Move the toothbrush gently back and forth in short strokes. Then, tilt the brush vertically and make up-and-down strokes to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth. Ensure that you brush all inner, outer and chewing surfaces when brushing.
- Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance: You’ll find it on approved toothbrushes, toothpaste and other dental products. Manufacturers provide scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of their products to earn the designation. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs evaluates all evidence.
- Store Your Tools Properly: In between brushes, store toothbrushes upright and allow them to air dry. Moist toothbrushes stored in a closed container promote microbial growth more so than leaving it exposed to the open air, according to the ADA.
- Follow the Replacement Timeline: The ADA recommends replacing toothbrushes every three months as the bristles start to break down and don’t work as effectively.
Get an Expert Opinion of Your Brushing Skills
How effective is your toothbrushing technique? Schedule your next visit with us today to find out. Complete our contact form or call our office at (708) 448-7588.