Tooth Talk with Brinkley Dental Group – The Holidays are Here! – The Holidays are Here!

If you have little ones, you don’t need the team here at Brinkley Dental to remind you that the holidays are fast approaching. Chances are, the kids are doing a great job of that all by themselves! With the arrival of the holiday season also comes the arrival of (typically) a bit more chocolate, more desserts, candy canes and other sugary treats. For the adults amongst us, we might also indulge a bit more when it comes to treats and possibly, when it comes to alcohol too. All of this means the holidays are also when we need to spend more time thinking about our oral health care routines. Perhaps a new toothbrush is in order? Today, we’re recapping some previous blogs on what’s best when it comes to brushing your teeth best!

  • Here’s what we’ve said in the past about replacing a toothbrush:

The answer will depend on the type of brush you use and the frequency with which you use it but the generally accepted principle of 8 – 12 weeks applies in most cases.  When you start to notice bristles bending or looking worn, it’s probably time for a replacement. Update: That means quarterly and that means using Santa as an excuse to bring a new toothbrush in the stocking is perfect timing indeed!

  • What kind of toothbrush bristle should you use – here’s what we suggested:

While hard bristles are certainly efficient at cleaning the teeth, they can be particularly hard on the gum line. Most dentists, including our Team here at Brinkley, recommend soft bristled brushes to maximize efficiency while reducing the potential for harmful damage to your teeth enamel. Update: We should add, for the younger kids in the house, from first tooth to about kindergarten, soft bristles are best. They won’t be too hard on those precious first baby teeth and there is little to no risk of children “hurting” themselves by brushing to vigorously.

  • To spin or not to spin – when (or should) you invest in an electric toothbrush?

More important than the type of brush you use is your method of brushing teeth. Use a toothbrush that is the right size and the right shape for your mouth. Use a gentle motion “massaging” your teeth and make sure you brush for two – three minutes. If using an electric or battery operated spinning toothbrush encourages your young child to brush longer GO FOR IT but it is not necessary. Update: Perhaps you’re thinking Christmas or Hanukkah is the perfect time to upgrade your family to some form of electric toothbrush. If so, here are a few things you should know and understand about these “techy” toothbrushes and why they may or may not be best for your family:

Electronic toothbrushes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, in fact – it seems more and more are released each month including one we wrote about not too long ago when we found a toothbrush that synced with your Apple or Android phone. Why? Honestly, we have no idea! There are toothbrushes that spin, oscillate and pulse, brushes that plug in, are battery operated or that can be charged to last upwards of six months and even some that come with their own carrying case if you’re a frequent traveler. Our job is not to recommend a brand necessarily – we aren’t in the business of selling toothbrushes but rather, to point out what may or may not work best for your family. A simple powered toothbrush may rotate and provide a reminder or auto-shut off feature when you’ve brushed for a minimum of two minutes. It won’t be hard on the teeth or gums. As with any plug in variety – don’t forget if you travel a great deal, to bring a plug adaptor or charger that is compatible with your brush. Using an electronic toothbrush also isn’t an excuse to get lazy! You still need to do some of the work yourself and some brands even offer a handle that vibrates every 30 seconds to remind you to move to a different area of the mouth.  One brand claims to oscillate back and forth at a rate of 20,000 cycles per second. Yes – you read that right – per second! It suggests it has such force you need not even apply it to the teeth but that rather, plaque is blasted off by the force alone. Another claims its silicone bristles are 30x more hygienic. That’s a lot to ponder when it comes to dental care.

The team here at Brinkley Dental tends to be a little more on the conservative side. We think with a commitment and dedication to brushing your teeth at least two times per day, for two minutes at a time, is a great start. If you’re meeting this minimum – then congratulations. If you think an electric brush is more your speed – be sure to do your research and to pick one that comes with several replaceable heads because bottom – line, electronic or not, you’ll still need to replace that toothbrush every few months, chances are, right after a holiday season filled with chocolate! We’ll leave you as we always do, with our gentle reminder: “don’t forget to be a BFF  with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”