Hello and welcome to another August edition of the Advanced Dental of Las Cruces blog!
We are your trusted partner for oral health, so we want to do all that we can to keep you on the good road during the weeks that fall in between your office visits. That’s why we want to talk a little bit about the tools of the trade, specifically your toothbrush.
Keep reading and then be sure to get in touch to schedule your next preventive checkup at our New Mexico dentist’s office.
Brushing Is Your Basic Defense
If you are doing what you are supposed to, you will use your toothbrush every day, at least twice a day, for at least two minutes at a stretch. And even though it may seem counterintuitive, you won’t ever want to do it within 30 minutes of eating because you could actually do some real damage to your enamel when they are still in a softened state from recently ingested acids and whatnot.
The point we are trying to make is that you should be well-acquainted with your toothbrush.
But have you ever really given it much thought?
Think back, to when you chose it.
Was it a freebie from the dentist?
Did some special aspect draw you towards it, or did you choose it based on color scheme and/or the presence of a particular image or character?
Why does it matter?
Well, some perform better than others.
You may have noticed that certain types come equipped with tongue scrapers. Some even have gum massagers. There are toothbrushes that vibrate. There are ones that pulsate.
But none of that really makes any difference in terms of effectiveness.
Truth be told, all that really matters is size and bristle firmness.
Everything else is just bells and whistles.
Finding an effective toothbrush is not rocket science, but it is important that you choose the right one, or else you may not be getting your teeth as clean as you could be, and you could be putting yourself at risk for problems down the road.
Don’t Let Them Tell You That Size Doesn’t Matter
The size of your toothbrush is because it determines how easily you can maneuver toothbrush to get to hard to reach areas of your mouth.
Your back teeth, or molars, are notoriously difficult to brush, and if the head of your toothbrush is too large, or if the handle is too short, then it can be a hopeless exercise.
On the other hand, if the the head is too small, you will have to work that much harder to cover the surface area of your teeth, which will make it easier to overlook spots, especially when you are thinking about going to sleep or you are trying to get your bearings at the start of a new day.
Another thing to consider is that if the handle of the brush is too long, you run the risk of injuring the soft tissue inside your mouth. The inside of your cheeks and the back of your throat are particularly sensitive.
So, what is best, generally speaking? We have found that a toothbrush with a head that is about a ½ inch wide by an inch long is the ideal size for the typical American adult. The handle needs to be long enough for you to be able to get a good grip on it and work it with ease.
Is Harder Better?
As it happens, most people need to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. The medium and/or hard bristled brushes may be fine if you are dealing with abnormal plaque and tartar build up, but you will want to be careful so as not to inflict damage on your teeth and gums.
Remember, the best way to eradicate tartar, plaque, and bacteria that has built up is to visit us every 3-6 months for a professional teeth cleaning. At that point, we may make recommendations regarding your toothbrush, dental floss, and mouthwash choices.
Stay On The Good Road!
If you have any questions or concerns about your toothbrush, contact us at Advanced Dental of Las Cruces. We can help you choose the best toothbrush, and our preventive dentistry program will give you plenty to smile about!
Call us today at 575-680-1037 to schedule an appointment!