Time to Talk Toothbrush
Yes, the lowly toothbrush, it warrants its own blog post.
Simple, easy stuff to know:
1. Change your toothbrush with the seasons. Minimum. (If you have a manual toothbrush, I’d encourage you to change it monthly.) Why? A frayed, overused toothbrush is NOT effective, and can actually do more damage to your teeth and gums. Gum recession, root sensitivity and tooth erosion can all result from overaggressive brushing. When the toothbrush is frayed, you end up brushing with the sides of the bristles, not the end of the bristles. Your teeth won’t feel clean because the sides of the bristles don’t clean well so you scrub harder, do more damage and still don’t feel clean…and you become that over aggressive “brusher”. The cycle continues. If you have gum disease, a recent cavity or even a sore throat, I’d suggest changing your brush even more often! The entire family deserves a new toothbrush seasonally. Then you know it’s done!
|Too close, too close!
2. The family toothbrush holder/cup- Tooth decay and gum disease are contagious infections. Moist, wet toothbrushes that touch each other spread that infection. ‘Nuff said!
3. Close the lid on the toilet before you flush. Fecal bacteria can travel airborne up to six feet and land on your nice wet, warm toothbrush.
4. Do not share toothbrushes. Your toothbrush is home to all the bacteria, viruses, and yeast that lived in your mouth.
5. Let your toothbrush air dry between uses. If you store it covered, or in a dark drawer, it’ll stay moist. The bacteria, yeast, viruses etc. continue to live happily.
5 a. Which leads to disinfecting your toothbrush. Soak it for 20 minutes in Crest Pro Health mouthwash. Do not put your brush in the dishwasher, and I have concerns about using the microwave to disinfect as well. (Check out the research!)
6. Use a soft bristle brush, and if you have recession, use an “extra” soft brush. You may need to special order these either on-line or at your favorite pharmacy counter. My fav is the Nimbus tooth brush. I know other companies sell medium and even hard bristle brushes. Don’t use them except to scrub tile grout, really!
7. Every member of the family should also have their own toothpaste tube. Bacteria etc. from your toothbrush can invade and infect the toothpaste tube.
8. Wash your hands before and after you brush your teeth.
9. In my opinion, electric toothbrushes do a far superior job to the most expensive manual toothbrush. I can always tell if someone uses an manual toothbrush. My favorite electric brushes are Phillips Sonicare Diamond Clean, or their Flexcare lines, and the 30 Second Smile Toothbrush. Children should also use electric toothbrushes. Sonicare makes a great child’s brush.
10. Some folks find the electric brushes too tickling. For those that “scrub” with their manual toothbrush, try holding it like a pencil.
10 a. If manual toothbrush is your preference, try this unique toothbrush! The Toof-inger Brush is a unique take on the standard design. It eliminates the scrub motion! It makes you hold the brush just like a pencil , so you eliminate the possibility of becoming an over-aggressive brusher.
11. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes. (and then clean in between and scrape your tongue.) Angle the bristles into your gums at a 45 degree angle, NOT perpendicular. Gentle circular motion with the brush.
12. For those that build up plaque and tartar, try dry brushing. No toothpaste, no water. Start on the bottom inside, and brush gently until your teeth feel and taste clean, then put on a pea sized amount of toothpaste for the fluoride and the minty taste. (Toothpaste can numb your tongue so you can’t tell if your teeth feel clean.)
Didn’t know there was so much to know about your toothbrush! Now, go change your brush!
Keep smiling those pearly whites!
Til next time,