The 95% of people brush badly and suffer from periodontal disease (in any of its three phases): incipient, moderate or advanced. A good toothbrush is essential for good oral health.
How to choose a toothbrush?
The first rule is not to buy a brush because it is on sale or it has an attractive appearance. The important thing is to verify that bristles are at the same level and well finished, so that they do not damage teeth gum or enamel. The head of the brush should not be very large and the hardness should be medium. The softer brush is mainly used for post-surgical procedures, whereas the hardest one is used in the brushing of prostheses and orthodontic appliances. The handle must allow a good grip, allowing to wrist rotation at the moment of making force without hammering the gum.
How often should I change it?
Dentists recommend that a toothbrush must be used for a maximum of three months. After this time, bristles deteriorate and lose effectiveness to remove the plaque. The International Dental Federation ensures that a new toothbrush is up to a 85% more efficient. The ideal is to change it when bristles are no longer at the same level, no matter if it has been used during 15 days or a month. The reason is hygiene: although keeping it very clean, the toothbrush may constitute a reserve of bacteria. Consequently, it is also recommended to change it after a flu or sore throat, in order to avoid that germs will remain in the bristles.
How can I keep it in good conditions?
After its use, you should:
- Rinse the toothbrush with water to remove any food leftovers, microorganisms or toothpaste.
- Drain to try to remove remaining water.
- Store it in an airy place, with light and in vertical position with the bristles up.
- Avoid its contact with other brushes.
- Cover it with a special plastic and ventilated protector if you are going to take it on a trip or in the wallet. It should not be covered with cloth or paper or put it in contact with other objects of the toilet kit.
Does the electric brush replace the manual one?
In the market, there are electric brushes that represent a great option for oral hygiene. However, they do not replace the conventional brush. Electric toothbrushes make a circular movement removing effectively plaque and tartar, but it is necessary the vertical sweep that allows the manual brush. Does the good use of the brush prevent plaque? Yes, but the brush itself does not do all the work: it only does the 50%. The rest of the work is done by dental floss and interproximal or interdental brushes, which should be used, specially, by those who have prostheses and brackets or spaces between the teeth by retractions of the gum.
Why should I brush my tongue?
Tongue hygiene is as important as teeth cleaning. The juicy texture of the papilla favors the accumulation of most bacteria in the mouth. In the 90% of halitosis cases are due to poor tongue hygiene. Brushing should be done softly, with movements from inside-out, as a kind of sweep.
How many times a day do you have to brush your teeth?
Brushing should be done after each meal. The most important brushing is the one done before going to sleep. In one day, the self-cleaning work is done by the production of saliva and the movement of the lips and cheeks. In contrast, at night, the amount of saliva is regulated and teeth are more exposed to microorganisms. Apart from to brushing teeth and tongue, it is good to massage the gum to keep it active and healthy.