One-third of adults aren’t brushing their teeth correctly, according to Dentistry Today. They’re either under-brushing or over-brushing instead.
On the heels of National Brush Day earlier this month, it’s a good time to revisit the proper technique for brushing your teeth.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
Thanks to advances in toothbrush technology, there are now more options than ever when choosing a toothbrush. Though you may have a go-to brand or style you enjoy using most, it may be worth it to give some new features a trial run.
While having a choice of bristle textures is nothing new, your preference can have a significant impact on the health of your teeth and gums. According to Colgate, most dentists recommend soft-bristle toothbrushes because applying too much muscle can damage tooth enamel.
Manual vs. Electric Operation
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), both manual and powered toothbrushes can be used effectively. Electric toothbrushes can give provide extra power when brushing teeth. However, they’re still controlled enough that they won’t have a negative impact on tooth enamel. Most electric toothbrushes also come with soft bristles.
Most adults will use 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime. Many toothbrushes on the market today are made of plastic, which sadly is not recyclable since small parts get stuck in machinery. However, the use of bamboo and other sustainable materials to make toothbrushes is growing.
Efficiency & Connectivity
New advances in toothbrush technology help to make getting a sufficient cleaning in a shorter amount of time easier. In addition, like other modern personal care devices, some electric toothbrushes sync to smartphones and provide insights about the user’s technique.
Do Higher Costs Really Mean a Better Brushing Experience?
More often than not, manual toothbrushes are more affordable than electric toothbrushes. And while each has its pros and cons, when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, Consumer Reports encourages shoppers to consider investing in an electric toothbrush because they’re slightly better at cleaning off plaque and better at preventing gingivitis.
However, one drawback of electric toothbrushes is that they’re more likely than manual toothbrushes to damage the tissue below the tooth. This is why it’s always a good idea to talk to your dentist about your toothbrush. And why regular checkups are so important.
5 Tips for Brushing Teeth Properly
Oral health impacts overall health. Properly caring for your teeth is important. To improve your
toothbrushing routine, consider these tips from the ADA.
- Start With the Basics: Dental professionals recommend brushing teeth for two minutes, twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Master the Technique: Though there are many different techniques, in general, the ADA suggests placing the toothbrush against the gumline at a 45-degree angle to remove plaque from above and below the edge of the gums that surround the teeth. Then, move the toothbrush gently back and forth in short strokes. Next, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth. Be sure to touch upon all inner, outer and chewing surfaces when brushing.
- Seek the ADA Seal of Acceptance: You’ll find it on approved toothbrushes, toothpaste and other dental products. To earn the designation, manufacturers provide scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of their products. The evidence is evaluated by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.
- Maintain Proper Storage: After use, store toothbrushes upright and allow them to air dry. Storing a moist toothbrush in a closed container promotes microbial growth more so than leaving it exposed to the open air, according to the ADA.
- Know the Replacement Timeline: The ADA recommends replacing toothbrushes every three months. By this time, the bristles start to break down and don’t work as effectively.