Did you know that toothbrushes wear out? It’s true! When worn out, they become less effective. So, how often should you replace your toothbrush, and how do you know when it's time? Here's how!Let’s start by answering the question, “How often should you replace your toothbrush?” As a general rule of thumb, dentists typically recommend…
How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?The first step to having a healthy and bright smile is good oral hygiene. Keeping your teeth clean by brushing regularly is important, but exactly how often should you brush your teeth? This is what dentists recommend.
Brush 3 Times a DayDentists typically recommend brushing after each meal or 3 times a day. When you eat, food particles, sugars, and acids from the foods can feed the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth and disrupt the delicate balance. When you brush your teeth, it helps to wash away the food particles and any lingering residue, while the ingredients in your toothpaste like fluoride work to remineralize your teeth.
Brushing TechniqueJust as important as the question, “How often should you brush your teeth?” is the natural follow up question: “How should you brush your teeth?” Brushing technique is important because it’s necessary to make sure that you clean all of your teeth thoroughly. When you brush, it can be helpful to mentally divide your mouth into sections. Top and bottom, left and right, inside and outside of teeth. As you brush, focus on each section individually. Dentists also recommend setting a timer for 2 minutes each time you brush to help ensure thoroughness.
Brushing ToolsIt’s also important to use the right tools when brushing to ensure that your brushing is safe and effective. When selecting toothpaste, it should contain fluoride because fluoride is important to remineralize and protect your teeth. The packaging should also display the American Dental Association’s seal of approval to certify that it has all the necessary ingredients needed to clean your teeth and doesn’t have any harmful ones. Your toothbrush is also important. Make sure to choose one with soft bristles so that it is gentle on your teeth and gums. Both regular and electric toothbrushes can sufficiently clean your teeth, although many people find that an electric toothbrush improves their oral hygiene routine with added features such as a built-in timer and pressure sensor.
When to Get a Professional CleaningKnowing the answer to the question, “How often should you brush your teeth?” is important, but it’s also important to know when you need a professional cleaning. Professional cleanings should be done every 6 months for healthy patients and more often for those who have a history of gum disease or other underlying issues that affect their dental health. Talk with your dentist about how often you should get a professional cleaning to help ensure the maximum effectiveness of your brushing so that your smile stays healthy and bright.
Call our St. Helena Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.