Toothbrush Care: Replacing, Cleaning, Storing

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Amanda Orvis RDH

Toothbrush Care: Replacing, Cleaning, Storing

In order to maintain a healthy mouth, one must use a clean toothbrush.  Toothbrushing plays a major role in your personal oral hygiene care. When brushing, it is important that you use a clean and functional toothbrush.  Toothbrush bristles can harbor harmful bacteria that can be damaging to our oral health.

REPLACING

The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. The same rules apply to both manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads. Many types of bacteria can be found on toothbrush bristles, these bacteria can continue to multiply over time potentially causing harm to our mouths. Toothbrush bristles also break down over time causing the bristles to fan out, fray or simply fall out.  When your toothbrush bristles break down the toothbrush becomes less effective, making it harder to clean your mouth properly. If you or any member of the family become sick or gets an infection in the mouth, it is important to replace yours or their toothbrush immediately to be prevent that harmful bacteria from spreading or re-infecting you or that person. In order to prevent cross contamination make sure you do not share toothbrushes for any reason.

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CLEANING

After brushing your teeth it is important to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush to remove any additional toothpaste, bacteria and saliva. Germs can hide in your toothbrush bristles and lead to oral infections of not properly cleaned.

STORING

After cleaning your toothbrush, it is very important to allow your toothbrush time to thoroughly dry between usages. Designate an area for your toothbrush to dry. Many toothbrush storage containers are available that prop your toothbrush upright and allow the toothbrush to not touch anything else while drying. When traveling, it is just as important to allow your toothbrush to dry between usages. Keeping the toothbrush bristles covered while storing it within your other items during travel is important as well. Small toothbrush storage cases are available at almost all pharmacies and grocery stores. Just make sure the toothbrush is fully dry before storing it in its case.

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5 Quick Rules: 

Do not share toothbrushes

Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use

Leave your toothbrush in an open area to dry after each use

Discard your toothbrush if you become sick or get any dental infections

Replace your toothbrush at least every 3 months

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Source:

http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-positions-policies-and-statements/statement-on-toothbrush-care-cleaning-storage-and-

Tooth Brushes!!

Karen

Karen Kelly RDH

As a dental hygienist, one of my most frequently asked questions is, ‘There are so many toothbrushes, which one should I use or should I just switch to an electric toothbrush?’.  My response is, first, always use a SOFT name brand toothbrush (I know stores sell medium and even hard toothbrushes but don’t buy them!!) and second to make sure you are brushing correctly at least 2 times daily and brushing for at least 2 minutes.  When I say correctly, I mean to aim the toothbrush up into the gums at a 45 degree angle.

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 Properly angled brushing

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Unhealthy vs. healthy gum tissue

I see lots of people who do brush their teeth, but since they don’t actually brush along the gumline, their gums are red and puffy.  So, brush the gums like you are giving them a massage; use little back and forth or circular motions.  Don’t use long scrubbing strokes, it is abrasive!  Then floss and/or use an interdental cleaner of some kind each and every day.  No matter how good a toothbrush is and how good someone brushes, it’s impossible to get in between the teeth clean with just a brush.  Also, change your brush often!  When the bristles begin to flare out or it’s been 3 months, change it, it makes a difference to use a new brush.

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                        If your brush looks like this, throw it out!                

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 A brand new SOFT toothbrush

If you brush really well with a manual toothbrush, you probably won’t see that much of a difference if you were to switch to an electric toothbrush.  The problem is, many people don’t clean their teeth that well with a manual toothbrush so that’s where the electric toothbrush can really help.  We recommend 2 brands of the electric brushes, the Sonicare and the Oral-B Braun.  These are not the battery powered toothbrushes, these brushes plug into the wall and have a rechargeable battery.  They just have so much more brushing action than a manual toothbrush that even if you aren’t that great of a brusher, you can do an excellent job if you use one of these brushes daily.  In a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health, they stated, “The subject group using the powered toothbrush demonstrated clinical and statistical improvement in overall plaque scores. Powered toothbrushes offer an individual the ability to brush the teeth in a way that is optimal in terms of removing plaque and improving gingival health, conferring good brushing technique on all who use them, irrespective of manual dexterity or training.”(1)  In another study, “the Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush was found to be safe and significantly superior to a manual toothbrush in reducing gingivitis, sites of gingival bleeding and plaque over time.  DiamondClean reduced gingivitis and gingival bleeding sites up to two times more and removed up to four times more plaque than a manual toothbrush after four weeks of use.”(2)   Sonicare also states that their ‘DiamondClean toothbrush effectively removed extrinsic tooth stain within one and two weeks of use, and it was significantly superior to a manual toothbrush at both one and two week checks.'(3)  On the Oral B website, they state that their Professional Precision 5000 toothbrush has produced these results:  34% less gingival bleeding at 6 months vs. a regular manual toothbrush and 29% lower gingival bleeding scores at 3 months vs. Sonicare® FlexCare (4)

It is still important to use the powered toothbrush 2 times daily for at least 2 minutes and allow the toothbrush to clean along the gumline.  If you have an electric toothbrush but it mostly sits on your counter, that doesn’t count when we ask if you use an electric toothbrush!

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Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

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                                                     Oral-B® Professional Precision 5000

Electric toothbrushes come in many different models and prices.  Take a look at a store like Target or Walgreens, they have lots of choices so you can find one that will fit your budget and taste.  We carry our favorite electric brushes and replacement brush heads in our office as well, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have about toothbrushes.  I like to answer questions about brushes so much that I go to Target and walk up and down the dental isle just so I can give advice to shoppers!!

So, remember what I tell my younger patients:  2 times a day for 2 minutes.  It’s easy to do and easy to remember!

Karen Kelley  R.D.H.

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 Just some fun photos to make you smile!

 

1.  http://222.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23674927

2.  http://sonicare.com/professional/en_AU/pdf/Gingival_DC_2011_Milleman.pdf

3.  http://staging1.microsites.ce.philips.com/DP_AU_EN_3_3_Orc2/pdf/Stain_DC_2010_Colgan.pdf

4.   http://www.dentalcare.com/en-US/oral-b-crest-professional-products/category/electric-toothbrushes/oralb-5000-professional-trial.aspx

Image Sources

http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/sonicare-hx9332-diamondclean-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush?ID=827710

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/proper-angle-for-brushing-your-teeth

http://www.impledent.com/patient-services/teeth-dental-cleanings/

http://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/talkscience/2011/10/27/wonderful-things-more-than-meets-the-eye/

http://www.oralb.com/products/pro-health-gentle-clean/

http://www.oralb.com/products/professional-care-smart-series-5000/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Boralb%20%2B5000&utm_campaign=Oral-B_Search_Desktop_Brand+Awareness_Power|ProfessionalCare+SmartSeries+5000&utm_content=sGVAVXD2P|dc_21461550775_b_%2Boralb%20%2B5000

www.pinterest.com

Waterpiks

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Lora Cook RDH

A question I am often asked of my patients is, “what do you think about a waterpik?” Waterpiks are great, but they DO NOT replace flossing with string floss. Once a person hears that they still have to floss, a look of discouragement or disgust comes across their face.  However, before you completely write off the thought of investing time and money into to a water pick, let me give you some information.

Waterpiks force oxygenated water underneath the gum tissue where plaque and bacteria like to hide.  This bacteria that lives under the tissue is anaerobic, it thrives under the gum tissue in that non-oxygenated environment. The oxygenated water works to not only flush out plaque and food, but also kills bacteria.  Also adding a few ounces of a quality, over the counter mouth rinse\antiseptic to the water reservoir is effective in reducing the bacterial load in the mouth.

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Who can benefit the most from the adding a waterpik to their daily oral hygiene routine?  I recommend water picks to patients who have bridges, implants, braces, or have been diagnosed with periodontal disease. The waterpik can reach places that string floss can miss.  Studies show that it is 50% more effective then just dental floss alone.  With a 3 second application it is 99.9% effective in the removal of plaque.

Some patients ask if waterpiks are so effective, why do I still need to use my string floss?  The string floss will scrap and mechanically remove the sticky plaque that likes to stick to the tooth surface. A waterpik will just rinse it.

There are different types of waterpiks out on the market.  A counter top water pik with a seperate resevoir and a cordless waterpik.  The cordless waterpic is rechargeable, no batteries needed. The water reservoir will hold 45 seconds of water supply.  All waterpics have different pressure settings, the water pressure will be 45 to 75 psi.

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Another type of waterpik is called shower floss.  Many people have never heard of this type, and do not know that it is available.  This unit is attached to your shower head, it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This unit will supply a  continues flow of water without having to stop and refill.  With this nifty unit you also do not have to worry about making a mess of your bathroom mirror!

 

shower flosser

Another type of waterpik is a shower floss.  Many people have never heard of this type, and do not know that it is available.  This unit is attached to your shower head, it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This unit will supply a  continues flow of water without having to stop and refill.  With this nifty unit you also do not have to worry about making a mess of your bathroom mirror!

 

 

http://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/products/dental-water-flosser/WP-480/

http://www.waterpik-store.com/?trk_src_ss=WATFGS49WEBPAYPC

Why Floss?

Kara

     The dreaded question that comes at every appointment is, “How often are you flossing?”  It is time consuming and, yes, we are tired before bed, but flossing is much more than cavity prevention.  Usually we give a sheepish grin saying, “I should be better.”  Before I became a hygienist, I admit I was not a consistent flosser.  I am proud to say that I am now a religious flosser.   Periodontitis and gingivitis can be prevented by flossing.  If these diseases go untreated, the whole body can be affected by the amount of bacteria in the body’s blood stream.  Here are some ailments that can be aggravated: cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, COPD, premature birth and low birth weight babies. The body is one working unit and the mouth is no exception to inhibiting or bettering our health.   

     Cardiovascular Disease is a collection of plaques that cause atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a thickening and hardening of arteries. Studies have shown over 40% of artery lesions contain oral bacteria.  At this point, inflammation is created by the influx of blood cells which can create a blood clot, reducing blood flow to the heart.  This can eventually cause a heart attack. 

     Most diabetic patients are aware of their decreased ability to heal.  There is no exception in the oral cavity.  Diabetes decreases the body’s ability to kill bacteria.  Inflammation is also increased throughout the body and in the mouth with diabetes.  Research studies have shown higher numbers of inflammatory agents in the gums of those with poorly controlled diabetes then those patients with healthy levels.  Diabetic and periodontal health goes hand-in-hand.  If the mouth is unhealthy then diabetes is worsened and vice-versa.

     One of the functions of the oral cavity is to be the gateway of the respiratory system. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and pneumonia have been linked to poor oral health. The mouth can be a reservoir for respiratory bacteria. Bacteria like Staphylococus have been shown to accumulate on the teeth. The bacteria can be in the saliva and then aspirated in the lungs causing infection.

     The oral cavities health can also affect pregnancy. The mother provides everything for the child. She tries to eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep and much more. Bacteria in the oral cavity can adversely affect the baby as well. Periodontal disease can cause premature birth and low birth weight. Bacteria as stated above can cause inflammation.  Contractions of the uterus are caused by hormones and by substances called prostaglandins. These contractions are most common in the third trimester. Chronic infection like gingivitis and periodontitis can cause premature labor. Another study has shown bacteria from the gums in the placenta causing preterm birth.

     Most people see the dentist more often than their medical doctor. The dentist or hygienist can help monitor a patients overall health. We can suggest a smoking cessation program, oral care products, monitor blood pressure, or promote good nutrition habits. All of these suggestions are correlated with great oral home care. Our team has a true desire for all patients to have whole body health as well as oral health.

The Wonders of Vitamin D

 Have you ever wondered what Vitamin D can do to help your body? More over your oral health? Is milk really only for my bones?

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins. It prevents periodontal disease, gingivitis, and cavities in addition to building bones and aids in absorption of calcium. Vitamin D regulates calcium and allows us to use it more efficiently in our bodies, which is vital to bone health. Recently this vitamin has been linked to the healthiness of your teeth! Studies have shown that addition of Vitamin D to the diet of children reduced evidence of tooth decay by up to 50% in the 3,000 children who were part of the study. In humans, Vitamin D is unique because if can be synthesized and can be absorbed naturally when exposed to the sun. Sadly, if you have a calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency it is likely that your bones and teeth will be affected. Therefore increasing and maintaining your calcium and vitamin D intake can help reduce the effects of premature bone loss.

One good source of Vitamin D and calcium that we can have every day is Milk! Who doesn’t like a nice cool glass of milk? Milk that is fortified with Vitamin D is beneficial to our oral health is because it packs the two for one punch Calcium and Vitamin D. Having strong teeth and bones is arguably one of the most valuable health benefits we strive towards with age. Generally teeth are very hard and  can withstand all the chewing and crunching of all the food we eat. However, tooth enamel is a complex calcium phosphate mineral called apatite. Because, calcium is continuously gained and lost by this mineral, addition of milk to our diets is a great way to replenish calcium. When we are deficient in calcium and Vitamin D, our teeth aren’t as strong, and we can acquire bone loss and even inflammation of our gums. Oral inflammation is a sign of periodontal disease, which results in bone loss if left untreated, when infection that causes bones loss is left untreated tooth loss is the final result. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues  that effect bone that support your teeth this disease occurs when plaque and other oral bacteria’s reach dangerous levels and are not removed by daily brushing or treated with surgeries.

There are many beneficial reasons to adding Vitamin D to your diet, one of the hidden reasons is for your oral health! Your teeth go through so much stress and strain from all of the yummy, delicious, sticky  foods you eat. Thank them by taking Vitamin D and maintaining your oral health with your family dentist and scheduling annual check-up and cleanings!

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