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Choosing a Toothbrush


Toothpaste and a correct brushing action work together to remove plaque, a harmful film of bacteria that grows on your teeth and can cause decay, gum disease, tooth loss and bad breath if not controlled. Toothpaste that contains fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralisation, this aids in repairing early decay even before the damage can be seen. There are also special ingredients in the toothpaste that help to clean and polish the teeth, helping to remove not only plaque but stains over time. Toothpaste also helps to freshen breath and leaves your mouth and teeth with a clean and smooth feeling.
What type of toothpaste should I use? Paste or gel, with or without flavorings is very much down to your personal preferences. Most of the brand name products will do the job, just compare the ingredients and make your choice and don't be afraid to change till you find a paste you really like. The most important ingredient in any toothpaste is Fluoride because it works effectively to fight plaque and cavities.
How much should I use? Most toothpaste ads give the impression that you need copious amounts of paste to work, but I guess they have a vested interest?, this simply isn't so. A peanut sized blob is all that should be needed, simply brush your teeth at a 45 degree angle towards the gum line and brush the front, back and between your teeth and you will find that the paste will foam enough to cover all your teeth. Children up to the age of six should however should only be given a very small baby pea sized dab of toothpaste on the brush, there are special strength Fluoride toothpastes that are especially made for children under six. In all circumstances always read the label and refer to your dental or medical practitioner if in any doubt.
How long should I brush? Dentists generally recommend that teeth should be brushed for between 3 and 4 minutes at least twice a day, that's in the morning and before going to bed. You could use an egg timer to measure your brushing time or perhaps you'd prefer to brush your teeth whilst listening to the radio as most modern songs are about 3 minutes long.

Your toothbrush...

Looking at the range of brushes on offer is it little wonder that we are somewhat perplexed when making the right decision? All brushes comprise the same components, an average brush has approximately 2,500 bristles grouped into tufts. The tufts are folded over a metal staple and forced into pre cored holes in the head and fixed in place. The handle is normally made of plastic and rubber for comfort and shaped to fit the hand at the right angle and with comfort. That's the basics of your toothbrush so here's what to look for...
The best bristles to consider are those with rounded ends and of medium texture, the head of the brush should be small enough to reach your back teeth easily, completely and in comfort. The handle must be long enough to reach all areas of your mouth without difficulty and for those who have difficulty holding small items there is now a range of wide or thick handled brushes or electric toothbrushes to consider.
When to replace your brush? Dentists recommend that your toothbrushes should be replaced in the following circumstances: After every 3 months of use; After a cold or illness; When the bristles lose their shape

Electric toothbrushes

Once a novelty item in the bathroom electric toothbrushes are becoming increasingly popular, recent studies suggest there are some advantages for people in using an electric toothbrush, these include improved cleaning, better removal of staining and plaque and they are particularly good for people who have limited manual dexterity.
Children often prefer an electric toothbrush due to the smaller head making easier to reach all areas of the mouth, they also like the novelty value of the buzzing and with manufacturers making electric toothbrushes specifically designed for children it is likely that the next generation will see an electric toothbrush as the norm.
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