A toothbrush is one of the things that we all need for maintaining our oral hygiene. Though selecting a good toothbrush might sound like an easy task, there are a few things that you should remember while buying one.
Type of bristles
You will find three types of brushes based on the build of the bristles: soft, medium, and hard. For most people, soft brushes are an ideal choice due to their comfort and safety. Medium- and hard-bristled toothbrushes may harm your gums and erode your tooth enamel. Loss of the protective teeth enamel can make your teeth sensitive in the long run.
Type of toothbrush: Manual or electric
A study that compared the effectiveness of manual and electric toothbrushes found no significant difference between the two in cleaning your teeth and protecting the gums. However, for some people, such as those grappling with old age and disabilities (such as arthritis), an electric toothbrush may help them provide ease in cleaning all the areas of teeth. You may use a powered toothbrush with a rotating-oscillating head to help you remove more plaque from your teeth. If you are prone to gingivitis, this kind of toothbrush might be the best for you. Whatever toothbrush you choose, make sure it has a comfortable handle and is easy to use.
How to take good care of your teeth
Now that you have chosen the right kind of toothbrush for yourself, it is also important to know the right techniques to use it, and how to store it properly as a part of oral hygiene. Here are a few important tips:
- Brush your teeth twice for 2 minutes daily, after getting up from bed or before having breakfast and before going to bed at night. Go for fluoride-based toothpaste.
- Brush on your teeth in a circular motion, back and forth, upward and downward, inside and out to help clear any leftover food particle and plaque. Do not forget to brush on the part where the gums and teeth meet.
- Be gentle on your gums while brushing. The hard way of brushing the teeth can be harsh and injure the gums.
- Remember to clean your tongue as well with the tongue cleaner or scraper after you brush your teeth.
- After brushing your teeth, let the brush air dry. Wet toothbrushes kept stored in closed containers can cause the growth of molds, yeasts, and bacteria.
- Replace your manual toothbrush or the head of your electric toothbrush after every 3 months. A frayed toothbrush is also a sign that you need to get a new one for yourself.
- Dental flossing removes plaque and trapped food particles that a toothbrush can't reach. Clean between your teeth with any of these:
- Dental floss or pick
- Floss threader
- Water flosser
- Wooden or silicone wedge plaque remover
- Tiny brushes that reach in between the teeth
- Rinse after you floss.
- If you suffer from bad breath, consider using a fluoride-based mouthwash.
- Do not use toothpicks. These can hurt your gums and allow the entry or growth of bacteria in your mouth.
- Cut back on smoking. Tobacco not only stains your teeth but can also damage your gums and tooth.
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Mayo Clinic. Oral Health: Brush Up on Dental Care Basics. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20045536