At Plowman & Partners we firmly believe that good oral hygiene is the first line of defence against common dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. This makes the humble toothbrush an indispensable tool which needs to be used properly in order to be effective. While a large number of patients do use a toothbrush to clean their teeth, many often carry out their cleaning routine perfunctorily without paying any attention to the way in which they brush or how they take care of their toothbrush – both count. Here’s what our dentists in Marylebone would like you to know.
Best recommendations on using a toothbrush
One of the most common things a patient hears is to brush teeth twice every day. But not many patients question the techniques to be used, which type of toothbrush is best or how should they take care of their toothbrushes. Seeing the important role of brushing teeth in proper oral care, these are critical questions to ask. We hope the following guidelines shed some light onto these questions.
- Brush for two minutes
It is the time taken to brush teeth that is important. For brushing to be effective, it is recommended that patients brush for at least two minutes, making sure all surface areas including gum line are brushed. Gentle pressure should be applied to teeth and gums using circular strokes with a soft-bristled brush.
- Toothpaste brand should contain fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride is the best way to protect teeth from cavities. Fluoride is important to remineralise teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush
Toothbrushes should be replaced every few months. Most dental practitioners agree on three to four months. A definite sign that it is time to buy a new toothbrush is when you notice the bristles on the old one become frayed.
- Should you opt for manual or battery-powered toothbrush?
Either option will do the job. Our dentist in Marylebone can best provide a more definitive answer during a check-up and upon a closer look at your teeth and gums. For some patients a battery-operated toothbrush may be more effective.
Why it is important to care for your toothbrush
It is the nature of the role they perform and often the environment in which they are kept, makes taking proper care of your toothbrush important. In the same manner that bacteria can collect on teeth and gums, bacteria can survive and thrive on toothbrushes. To keep toothbrushes bacteria-free, patients can:
- Allow toothbrush bristles to air dry by placing it in an upright position and not in an enclosed casing – this just encourages more bacteria growth.
- Sanitise toothbrushes by soaking it in a suitable mouthwash solution.
Patients should refrain from placing toothbrushes in the microwave or in the dishwasher as the heat produced will damage the toothbrush.
Your oral hygiene routine should not be regarded as a mundane task that requires no attention. If you have questions or concerns about how you clean your teeth, schedule a check-up today at Plowman & Partners.