• August 23, 2016
decay_prevention_3 _ |Shorewood Family Dental Care _ Shorewood, IL

Hello and welcome to another August edition of the Shorewood Family Dental Care blog!

Preserving the health of your smile is the main reason for dental care both at home as well as in our office. And the most overlooked part of that care in the months between checkups is prevention!

Your frontline of defense against disease and decay is brushing your teeth and your primary weapon is, obviously, a toothbrush.

So, let’s talk about this implement that acts as an important preventive dentistry tool.

Keep reading, and then be sure to get in-touch with our team to schedule your next appointment in our Shorewood, IL dentist’s office.

The Right Equipment

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?

Did it come equipped with a tongue scraper. How about a gum massager?. Is it one of those toothbrushes that vibrate? Or is it one that pulsates?

Does it matter?

Nope.

None of that really makes any difference in terms of effectiveness.

In fact, all that really matters is size and bristle firmness.

Everything else is just for show and personal preference.

Finding an effective toothbrush is not complicated, 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.

The Right Size

The size of your toothbrush is important because it determines how easily you can maneuver your toothbrush around 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 frustrating exercise.

However, 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.

You should also keep in mind 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 should you look for in a toothbrush?

In our Illinois practice, 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 adult patient. The handle needs to be long enough for you to be able to get a good grip on it and work it with ease.

The Right Firmness

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.

Still, 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. We can also set you up with fluoride treatments, sealants, and so forth.

Keep Smiling!

If you have any questions or concerns about your toothbrush or preventive dentistry in general, contact us today to schedule an appointment!