10 things you should know about …TOOTHBRUSHES

We all hear so many different things about toothbrushes. It is easy to get confused with what is best to use and what you should be using. so here are some handy tips.
  1. As is the case with so many things, it is not what you use it is the way that you use it.  The aim of brushing the teeth is to remove as much of the bacteria containing plaque from the teeth and gums.  This will reduce the number of organisms in the mouth that can cause gum disease and decay.  Some areas of the mouth trap plaque more that others and so a variety of different approaches may be needed
  2. Manual toothbrushes are the basic kit needed. A medium brush is what we normally recommend. The bristles are stiff enough to removed plaque, but not so hard as to be in danger of causing wear.
  3. Don’t scrub. I can’t  stress this enough. You wouldn’t scrub the car if you were washing it, you would gently buff the tough dirt off and maybe use a detergent. When cleaning your teeth gently massage the teeth and gums with your toothbrush and use a fluoride containing toothpaste as your detergent.
  4. Electric toothbrushes come in all shapes and sizes, some are better than others.  They have smaller heads that get into smaller areas and it takes a bit if the effort out of it. Studies show that in general more plaque is removed with an electric toothbrush than a manual one, but don’t forget that it makes a difference what you do with it.
  5. Looking to buy an electric toothbrush? I suggest one with a rechargeable battery and inter-changeable heads.  A number of them have timers on them to help you gauge whether you are spending enough time on your brushing.
  6. If you know that you are prone to scrubbing your teeth and you think you are causing wear, then maybe consider a sonic toothbrush.  They have a vibrating motion and not a brushing motion.  In my opinion I have also found them better at removing stains.
  7. Children generally need a toothbrush with a smaller bristle head.  It is very difficult to get an adult sized toothbrush into a small mouth.
  8. The recommendation is that you change your toothbrush every 6 weeks.  If you find that the bristles are getting splayed before this, then change it more regularly. If you really are going through toothbrushes very quickly then you may be scrubbing your teeth too hard.
  9. Make sure you brush every surface of your teeth. The means the cheek side, tongue side and the biting surface.  Most plaque traps around the gum margins, so make sure you angle your brush to clean the gum line as well.  Remember, not too hard, just a gentle massage.
  10. Finally, your toothbrush will not clean effectively between the teeth, particularly the back ones.  For this you will need some other technique, which can involve using floss, small brushes such as Tepe’s or any one of a whole range of products.
For more information on any of these points, don’t hesitate to ask. Charlotte