Most dental experts recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months or so. If it starts to show wear, you should replace it sooner. Also, if you have a cold or other viral infection, you should replace it. The bristles collect germs that could lead to reinfection. The dental aisle has dozens of toothpastes and toothbrushes for sale. What should you look for? Here are some recommendations.
Choosing a Toothbrush
Do you want hard or soft bristles? What type of bristles, flat or rippled? The American Dental Association provides these guidelines:
- Choose soft bristles over hard bristles. Hard bristles can make the gum tissue pull back from the teeth, exposing the root. This can cause sensitivity.
- Go for a smaller head size that easily fits into your mouth. Your toothbrush should be able to brush two teeth at a time. Smaller heads let you reach more places in your mouth.
- Look for bristles that have rounded tips that won’t scratch your teeth.
- Go for a handle that you can easily hold. If you have arthritis or other physical limitation, get a large-grip handle or adapter that lets you manage the brush better.
- Look for the ADA seal of approval on your toothbrush.
A powered toothbrush is recommended for people who need assistance or who have braces. Generally speaking, the best toothbrush for you is one that motivates you to use it. Your dentist can help you find a toothbrush for your specific needs, if you still have questions.
Choosing a Toothpaste
There are dozens of different types of toothpastes, from whitening to sensitive. The ADA recommends that your toothpaste have at least 1,000 parts per million fluoride and ADA approval. Beyond that, find a toothpaste that meets your personal preferences.Keep in mind that whitening toothpastes may cause sensitivity and usually don’t work short-term. If you need to whiten your teeth, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist about your options.
Speaking of sensitivity, most sensitive toothpastes that you can buy over-the-counter do work fairly well. If you have sensitive teeth, start with an OTC brand, but if you don’t get results, talk to your dentist. You may need to switch to a prescription-strength toothpaste or have some dental work performed to protect your teeth.
Make Sure You’re Brushing and Flossing
Follow good practices when brushing and flossing. Don’t rinse, eat or drink after you brush for 30 minutes to allow the fluoride to absorb into your teeth. Brush right before bed. The important thing is to take care of your teeth. Make an appointment with a dentist, like a Family Dentist in Apex, NC.
Thank you to the experts at Alliance Dentistry for their input into pediatric and family dentists.