The Truth About Brushing

 Q. Why don’t we use hot water to brush our teeth?

A. There may be some reasons not to use hot or warm water, said Richard H. Price, a spokesman for the American Dental Association, but he added, “If I can get someone to brush their teeth, I don’t care what the water temperature is, as long as they don’t scald themselves.”

Dr. Price suggested that water that is too warm may soften some toothbrush bristles, making them less effective, and that water that sits in a hot water tank or lead pipes may collect harmful metals and other chemicals.

Finding the right toothbrush can be daunting.

“You need a Ph.D. to get through the dental aisle of confusion,” Dr. Price said, but he suggested simplifying the choice by looking for the A.D.A. mark on the box, signifying that the bristles are firm enough to remove dental plaque but not hard enough to damage teeth or gums.

“Match the toothbrush to yourself, like dinnerware, so that it fits both hand and mouth,” he said. “In this case, size is important.”

After brushing, use hot water to rinse the brush, and let it dry thoroughly between uses. Change the brush every three or four months as the bristles fray.

Perhaps most important, he said, “don’t brush without flossing.”

Brushing and flossing together do not kill the germs that colonize to form dental plaque, he said, rather “it just scatters them so they can’t reach critical mass” and cause tooth decay and gum disease.

As for brushing technique, “ask your dentist to show you how,” Dr. Price said. “He or she will love you.”

 

Source:NYTimes / http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/science/should-we-use-hot-water-to-brush-our-teeth.html?_r=1&

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