Do This, Not That

General Dentistry Scottsdale, AZMost of the actions we perform can be completed in some ways. This theory applies to oral care, too; but the way that you go about brushing and flossing and managing the health of your teeth and gums will affect the outcome. Knowing this, we expect that you would want to know if you are making innocent mistakes that could be problematic to the goal at hand. Let’s see how you’re doing…

Brushing Technique

  • Teeth are not meant to be scrubbed, and yet we meet a fair amount of people who go at it with a little too much gusto. Brushing is efficient when the toothbrush bristles are soft, not hard. Brushing works when the toothbrush is held at a 45-degree angle moved in a circular motion across tooth surfaces. Abrasive toothpaste, hard bristles, and a heavy hand lead to abrasions on enamel and gum tissue.
  • Brushing is somewhat abrasive on its own, so brushing too much is simply going overboard. The most that we should brush is three times a day. But be careful when brushing after meals; too close to mealtime and you could damage enamel that has been “softened” by acidic foods or beverages.

Toothbrush Care

  • Toothbrushes have an expiration date. It’s too bad they aren’t posted directly on the handle! We have all been guilty of pushing our toothbrush to the brink now and then, realizing that we need to retire one only when the bristles are fraying and our teeth feel gritty and dirty after brushing. For optimal use, a toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months.
  • Where you store your toothbrush also matters. If stored in the wrong place, a toothbrush can collect germs that then go into your mouth. Yuck! We know! To keep a toothbrush safe from other bathroom bacteria, some people store theirs in a case in a drawer. No. The problem with this is that bristles don’t get sufficient circulation to air out. Damp bristles attract bacteria, the exact thing you don’t want. It is usually sufficient to place a toothbrush in an open container inside of a drawer, where air can reach.

Personal oral care is one piece of the puzzle that supports lifelong health. The other is routine dental care. To schedule your visit in our Scottsdale office, call (480) 657-6981.

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