For many of us, toothbrushing is such an automatic activity that we don’t put much thought into it. Our teeth deserve our best effort, and the new year is a great time to re-visit the fundamentals of proper brushing habits.
Brush for Two Minutes Twice Daily.
Americans brush their teeth for an average of 45 seconds. Proper brushing takes a minimum of 120 seconds to ensure all surfaces of the teeth are cleansed. Most of us have a smart phone nearby, so set the timer for two minutes, brushing each quarter of the mouth for 30 seconds. You are welcome to stop by our office and pick up a free two-minute hourglass timer as well. Remember to floss before brushing!
Choose a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush That Fits You.
Toothbrushes come in many shapes, sizes, and bristle hardness. The head should fit easily in your mouth and you should be able to grip the handle well. Gentle brushing with a soft or medium hardness brush is recommended. Healthy gums don’t bleed and aggressive brushing is not advised.
Store Your Toothbrush Properly.
Your toothbrush should be allowed to dry completely between uses. Place it upright in a cup or toothbrush holder in an open area with good airflow. Storing your toothbrush in an enclosed area will allow it to stay damp and encourage growth of germs. Never leave your toothbrush in the shower!
Replace Your Brush Quarterly.
Toothbrush bristles can become worn and frayed, affecting the ability to clean properly. Changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months will ensure cleansing efficiency. It is also recommended that you replace your toothbrush after a cold or flu episode in order to prevent becoming re-infected.
Dr. Michael Gillespie has practiced dentistry in Waynesville for twenty- five years. The office is located at 611 S. Haywood St. in Waynesville, and can be reached at 456-9007. The award-winning dental team would love to discuss additional tips on improving your dental health!