Preventive dental care does not have to be difficult or complicated. In fact, most of you are probably already doing a lot to protect your oral health. Ask any of the experts here at Panama City Smiles, and we will tell you the number one thing you need to be doing to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is to brush your teeth.

This is certainly not new information to you. You probably learned to brush your teeth when you learned to tie your shoes. But do you know why brushing is so important?

What Toothbrushing Does

Most of the oral health problems you will encounter are the result of plaque and food particles left behind from after meals. So the best way to prevent these problems is to get the plaque and food bits off your teeth.

Brushing your teeth will do just that. You don’t even need toothpaste. Scrubbing your teeth with a soft bristle brush will knock the plaque and food loose, so it can be rinsed away with some water. However, if you do use a fluoride toothpaste when you brush, you will help protect your teeth even more, not to mention, freshen your breath.

Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day, but don’t brush them right after a meal. Wait about thirty minutes. Eating food, especially acidic food, weakens your enamel for a while, so brushing too soon could damage your teeth.

How to Choose a Toothbrush

Walk down the oral health aisle of your local pharmacy and you will pass toothbrush after toothbrush after toothbrush. Different shapes, sizes, and colors are all represented. And when it comes to price, you can spend a lot, or you can spend a little. The choice is yours to make.

But how do you know which toothbrush to choose?

Choosing a toothbrush is an important decision, but it is not necessarily a hard one. When it comes to finding a toothbrush that will effectively clean your teeth, there are really only two criteria worth considering, size and bristle strength.

Size – How large or small your toothbrush is determines how well it will scrub the surface of your teeth and how easy it will be control as you clean your teeth. A toothbrush that is too large will be hard to fit into the back of your mouth to clean your molars, while a toothbrush that is too small will be harder to manipulate inside your mouth and will not provide adequate coverage on the surface of your teeth.

For most people, a toothbrush head that is half an inch across by an inch long will work perfectly. The handle should be long enough to give you a firm grip. Be careful not to get a brush with a handle that is too long, though, because you could easily injure the back of your throat. And a handle that is too small may not reach those molars in the back of your mouth.

Bristle Strength – The firmness of your toothbrush bristle is an easy choice because almost everybody needs to use a soft bristle brush. A medium or hard bristle could cause damage when use brush, by wearing away enamel or injuring your gums.

Do You Need an Electric Toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes may be fancy and high-tech, but there is no evidence that they are any better or worse than manual toothbrushes at cleaning your teeth. The only clear advantage an electric toothbrush offers in when the mobility of your hands is limited due to arthritis or injury. Otherwise, it is a matter of personal preference.

Preventive Care from Panama City Smiles

You are not on your own when it come to protecting your oral health. Just visit our office in Panama City, FL, and we will keep your teeth and gums looking and feeling great, so that you have fewer oral health problems in the future.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.