Oral hygiene: brushing for healthy teeth
Your toothbrush might not be the most glamorous part of your beauty routine — but it might be one of the most important. Studies show that we’re more concerned than ever about our oral hygiene—and more and more people are switching to an electric toothbrush for healthy teeth.
But whether you’ve invested in the latest dental technology or not (a little encouragement: today’s electric toothbrushes are proven to be far more sophisticated at keeping gum disease and other problems at bay), there’s an important part of our toothbrushing routine that we often forget: If you don’t change your toothbrush or toothbrush head as often as it should, your daily dental care won’t be as effective as it should be for healthy, white teeth.
dentist dr Sam Jethwa, Founder of Bespoke Smile and Vice President of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, interviewed our colleagues at glamor UK gave his expert advice on the importance of changing your toothbrush or brush heads regularly – and what we should all do to keep our teeth healthy.
How often should we change our toothbrushes?
“It is advisable to change the toothbrush or the head of the electric toothbrush at least every three months,” advises Dr. Jethwa. “If the bristles splay, look worn, or don’t feel as stiff anymore, consider replacing them sooner. It’s a good idea to change your toothbrush sooner to avoid getting germs on the brush or bleeding gums,” he adds. It’s not even just about a bright smile: Studies suggest that regular and proper brushing of teeth has a positive effect on health: Gum disease can accelerate mental deterioration sixfold, and the risk of cardiovascular diseases and Pneumonia is reduced with healthy teeth.
What happens if we don’t change our toothbrushes regularly?
“If you don’t change your toothbrush or brush heads regularly, you’re not cleaning your teeth effectively,” advises Dr. Jethwa. This can lead to debris and plaque building up in the mouth, which can cause tooth decay, gum disease, or bad breath. In addition to the pain that can result from tooth decay and gum disease, severe cases can even lead to tooth loss.
Does a toothbrush need extra care?
“To prolong the life of a toothbrush, it is important that you wash it thoroughly with water after each use. Of course, sharing a single brush is also an absolute no-go,” says Dr. Jethwa. “Many people make the mistake of applying too much pressure when brushing their teeth. This can not only damage the gums, but also lead to the brush having to be replaced sooner. Most electric brushes will warn if too much pressure is being applied; with a manual toothbrush you have to judge for yourself. You want to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and don’t grip it too tightly,” says Dr. Jethwa. “And when storing it, you should make sure that the heads of different toothbrushes, whether manual, electric or sonic toothbrushes or, for example, those of other family members, do not touch, as this can transmit bacteria.”
This article comes from our GLAMOR colleagues from UK.