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Using the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste for Optimal Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential for having fresh, minty breath and healthy teeth and enjoying a beautiful smile. Since early life, our parents have taught us that regular brushing is one of the most effective ways to keep our teeth and gums clean. But, what type of toothbrush or toothpaste should one use for best results?

If you have also been searching for an answer to this question, this blog is for you. So read on to learn everything about choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste for an amazing smile and optimal oral health. 

  1. Soft- or Hard-bristled Toothbrush?

Many people believe that using a hard-bristled toothbrush is more effective in removing plaque deposits from the teeth and ensures better cleaning. But unfortunately, this practice does more harm than good. The fact is that the hard bristles of a toothbrush can damage the gums, causing gum recession. At the same time, hard-bristled brushes result in faster wearing of the dental enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity and decay. 

So, which type of toothbrush is ideal for brushing? First, let’s see what the American Dental Association (ADA) says. According to the ADA, one should use a soft toothbrush with the ADA’s seal of acceptance. The soft bristles ensure optimal teeth and gum cleaning while preventing any damage. 

  1. Choosing the Right Size 

What toothbrush size is recommended for brushing? You may ask. Well, you can use a toothbrush of any size as long as it is comfortable to hold and fits your mouth easily. Typically, one should choose a toothbrush long enough to clean all the back teeth without difficulty.

Another common misconception is that the more force you use while brushing, the better will be the cleaning. Unfortunately, this is not true. The fact is that if you brush your teeth with a strong force, it can damage your teeth and gums, causing gum recession and tooth wear – ultimately leading to periodontal disease and tooth cavities. So, it is best to use gentle forces while brushing one’s teeth. 

If you’re wondering whether powered brushes are better at dental cleaning than manual ones, we have the answer. According to the ADA, both powered and manual toothbrushes are equally effective, provided the correct brushing method is used. However, powered toothbrushes might prove more convenient for physically or mentally challenged individuals who cannot use manual ones. 

A question that people frequently ask their dentists is when to replace their toothbrushes. While there is no specific timeline for when to throw out your old toothbrushes, the ADA recommends changing your toothbrush after every three to four months. Furthermore, a toothbrush should be replaced when its bristles become frayed or stained. Why? Because bent or frayed bristles cannot clean all the tooth surfaces properly, thereby increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Besides, toothbrushes also need to be replaced after some time for hygiene purposes. 

In the case of a powered toothbrush, there is no need to replace it entirely; simply changing the head should suffice. 

The right toothpaste is as vital for good oral hygiene as using the right toothbrush. Like toothbrushes, you will find numerous brands and types of toothpaste, such as whitening paste, toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and gum disease. So, which one should you choose? To understand this, we should learn about the major ingredients of toothpaste. 

The commonly used ingredients in toothpaste are fluoride, phosphate, hydroxyapatite, and calcium. Other components include flavoring and frothing agents, and preservatives. Abrasives are also added to toothpaste, especially whitening pastes to remove teeth stains. Furthermore, additional antibacterial agents may be added to prevent or treat gum disease. 

The ingredients that you should look for in toothpaste as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate. Why? Because these are the minerals that strengthen our teeth and make them resistant to tooth cavities.

The ADA recommends using fluoride-containing toothpaste that carries the seal of approval of the ADA or your local dental regulatory authority. Why is fluoride so important? Because fluoride has been shown to strengthen our teeth and prevent tooth decay. Besides, fluoride has some antibacterial properties and helps neutralize gum disease-causing bacteria. 

The ADA has separate guidelines for toothpaste use for children and adults: 

  • Kids – since kids are more likely to swallow toothpaste while brushing, the ADA recommends using a smear of fluoride-containing toothpaste in children up to three years of age. However, a pea-sized dab of toothpaste may be used for children ages 3 and 6. 
  • Adults – adults can use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste for brushing, making sure to spit it out once brushing is complete. 

Smokers or whitening toothpaste contains a higher concentration of abrasives that help remove surface stains from the teeth. Although there is no issue in using whitening pastes once in a while for a better smile, their long-term use can cause complications such as tooth sensitivity and increased risk of dental cavities. So, it is best not to use them for routine oral hygiene care. Instead, one should prevent teeth staining by ensuring optimal oral hygiene.

While using the right armamentarium for brushing is important, it is equally essential to learn the correct method of brushing teeth. If you do not know how to brush your teeth correctly, you can consult your Gramercy dentist or dental hygienist in NYC; they will suggest a brushing technique based on your individual oral hygiene needs. 

If you are looking for a gentle-dental practice in NY, Dr. David Toksoy’s preventive dentistry practice in Manhattan should be your first choice. We offer high-quality dental services for your entire family under one roof and at affordable rates. So, please book an appointment with Dr. Toksoy | Studio Dental NY today and begin your journey towards your dream smile. 

Reference: https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/toothbrushes

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