Toothbrushes and ToothpasteWith the all different kinds of toothbrushes on the market, it may seem challenging to determine exactly which one is best suited for the job. The first thing all patients should look for when purchasing a toothbrush is size. Choose a size that will fit comfortably in the mouth and it helps to have some higher bristles on the brush to reach below the gum line. Aside from that, pay attention to the type of bristles.
On the top of every toothbrush package it will list either soft, medium or hard. Patients with sensitive gums should chose a softer bristle tooth brush so as no to cause irritation. Some toothbrushes have larger handles, which are easier to grip for children or patients with arthritis.
Manual Or Electric ToothbrushesMany oral health experts believe that electric toothbrushes can be more effective than manual toothbrushes as they were designed to replicate the functions of the professional tools used by your Polar Dental Dentist within the office. An electric toothbrush, when properly used, can better remove plaque and bacteria from the gum line and teeth.
Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day for about two minutes. Some electric toothbrushes come equipped with a timer to let you know when to stop brushing. It takes about two minutes to effectively cover all surfaces of the teeth and remove all debris and plaque that have built up during the day. Be careful not to over brush, as you might be doing more harm than good. Over brushing can cause gum recession and can actually damage the tooth enamel.
ToothbrushesThe prices of electric toothbrushes have significantly decreased over the last couple of years, making them more affordable. However, that's not to say that manual toothbrushes have become obsolete. Some manual toothbrushes come equipped with features such as built-in tongue scrapers, extra flexibility etc. Of course, the most obvious advantage is the difference in price.
Whichever toothbrush you chose it is important to properly brush the teeth at least twice daily. The toothbrush is simply a tool. The most expensive toothbrush on the market won't do you any good if it's not properly being used often. Replace your toothbrush when the bristles start to wear out or fray, Some toothbrushes have a color changing feature that tells you when the toothbrush needs to be replaced. When you first buy the toothbrush, the bristles will be blue at the center. As you continue using the brush these blue bristles will fade into a lighter color. At the very least, replace your tooth brush every three months.
ToothpasteIt is important to chose an ADA/CDA approved fluoride toothpaste. The fluoride in the toothpaste will strengthen and protect the teeth both above and slightly below the gum line with proper brushing. Some toothpastes may contain whitening, tartar control, even mouthwash.
Above all, the most important ingredient in your toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that does wonders to fight tooth decay. When the bacteria in you mouth combine with the starches and sugars found in food, they produce acid that is harmful to your teeth causing cavities and decay. Fluoride not only protects the teeth from this acid, it strengthens the enamel so it can actually reverse the decay process in its early stages by re-mineralizing your teeth.
Tartar controlled toothpastes are also heavily marketed. Plaque is a natural substance that exists in a thin layer on the surface of our teeth. If not removed daily, plaque hardens and forms into tartar or calculus. The tartar can build up on your teeth and underneath your gums and if not treated, it will ultimately result in gum disease. For tartar control chose a toothpaste with multiple plaque fighting agents for best results.
Another option for patients with sensitivity are specially formulated toothpastes designed to reduce tooth sensitivity, such as Sensodyne. These toothpastes may be recommended by your dentists if you have undergone a procedure in which your teeth may be sensitive afterwards such as teeth whitening.