Start the new year off right with these tips from the American Dental Association.
- Change your brush as soon as the bristles start fraying, about every 3 months, or sooner if needed. Also change your brush after recovering from an illness.
- Brush for 2 minutes at least twice a day. Most people only brush for about 45 seconds, which is why I like electric toothbrushes! Most of them have a timer and run for 2 minutes. That’s how much time it takes to do a thorough job of cleaning your teeth.
- Don’t brush too hard, another common mistake. It’s not how hard you brush that counts…it’s how thoroughly you brush. Disease causing plaque comes off easy enough with the right technique!
- Wait 30 minutes after eating before brushing, especially if you’ve been eating acidic foods like citrus or sodas. Rinse with water or chew xylitol sweetened gum if you must to prevent acid erosion from brushing too soon.
- Store your toothbrush upright and in the open air so that it can dry properly and not promote bacterial growth. Also, don’t store your brush adjacent to someone else’s, which could allow cross contamination.
- Don’t use a hard bristled brush, which can erode the outer surface of the teeth, especially along the gum line. Remember, it only takes soft bristles to remove the plaque.
- Always use proper technique when brushing. Brushing each surface of the tooth while holding the brush at a 45 degree angle toward the gum will ensure that you remove all of the plaque without causing damage to the teeth or gums.
If you’re not certain about your technique, please ask us the next time you are in the office Don’t hesitate to contact me or the staff at my office, Dr. Laurence H. Stone, DDS, any time at 215-230-7667. We are only too happy to help.
Best wishes for a happy and dentally healthy New Year!