Daily Oral Hygiene -Part Three – Brushing

There are so many options available these days with regard to toothbrush selection that I liken it to buying a car, except for the price tag. I will say it again, I don’t care what you use as long as you do no harm and you get the teeth clean and free of bacterial plaque. Beyond that it is a matter of personal preference.

Toothbrush Rules

However there are some rules. Hard toothbrushes are a no-no. They actually do not clean the teeth as well as softer brushes do, and they can do damage. You want soft, rounded, polished nylon bristles. Generally speaking, we recommend soft toothbrushes, but not too soft. Some manufacturers may refer to them as medium, which is fine as long as they have some give to allow them to hug the surface of the tooth. There are special situations when your dentist may recommend a very soft brush, but that is not the case for normal use.

Beyond the Toothbrush

Every tooth has 5 surfaces and a toothbrush alone cannot clean all 5 of them.

Healthy TeethThis picture shows 4 healthy teeth. As you can see, the teeth have different sizes and shapes. They do not have flat surfaces. They all have a top or chewing surface, a front, a back and two sides for a total of 5 surfaces.

The front and back sides of all but the end teeth touch one another and the toothbrush cannot clean those surfaces between the teeth, especially the areas where the teeth touch. That is a job for floss and other special brushes and devices that will be described in the next section.

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