Dental hygiene is an important part of overall health, as many of the posts on this blog will attest. But did you know that many people aren't practicing proper tooth or mouth care on a daily basis. Some people don't have the right toothbrush, while others aren't using it properly.

According to Richard Price of the American Dental Association (ADA), "It takes time to brush effectively. Most people just rush through it." As a result, he suggests setting a timer, which is a great way to teach kids and remind adults that three minutes is the right amount of time to spend brushing and flossing.

But what about choosing a toothbrush? How do you know if you have a good one or if it's time to toss it and pick up a new one?

The good news is that the ADA, like many industry leading organizations, has a seal of approval that it puts on only the best products. If you choose a brush that features an ADA seal on the box, you can rest assured that it is a good one. After that, it is all about personal preference. Try and find one with softer bristles as it won't irritate your gums and make sure that it is one that fits your mouth size appropriately. According to Everyday Health, if you have an abnormally small or large mouth, you should be sure to purchase a brush that is proportionate.

Once you have the ideal instrument, employing healthy brushing practices is very important. Here are some of the most important habits to get into:

  • Be gentle – Don't brush too roughly. You don't want to irritate your gums while brushing your teeth, so take your time to do it gently and carefully. 
  • Brush twice a day – At least. It will wake you up in the morning, and leave you fresh and clean right before bed. Some experts suggest brushing after every meal if possible so that food particles don't sit on your teeth all day.
  • Products – What you put on your toothbrush is just as important as the brush itself. Be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste to avoid tooth decay and be sure to thoroughly clean your brush after each use.
  • Replace – You should be replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. A good rule of thumb is to set a calendar reminder, as it is one of those things that many people just forget to do. Usually, you will get a new brush at dental visits too, so that is a good way to remember to toss the old one.

Using the right products makes the practice of proper dental care more effective. If you have any questions about best practices, or are interested in orthodontists in New York, contact Upper Eastside Orthodontists today!

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