Did you know that tooth decay is the most common childhood disease? Cavities are almost 100 percent preventable when children have access to prevention, education and treatment services, yet one-third of children ages 6 to 8 have untreated cavities in a permanent tooth.
National Toothbrush Day is June 26 and serves as a reminder of how important a little brush is to a person’s health.
Here are five important tips for using your toothbrush and maintaining good brushing habits:
1. If you were still wearing a heavy coat the last time you replaced your toothbrush, you’re definitely overdue for a new one. Toothbrushes need to be replaced when they get frayed and worn, which is typically every three months. Vigorous brushers will probably need to replace their toothbrush more frequently.
2. Select soft bristles over hard ones unless otherwise instructed by your dentist. Soft bristles are more pliable and can get between teeth easier. Hard bristles can make brushing painful and may also wear away gums and tooth enamel.
3. It may be tempting for teething tots, but don’t let young children chew on the toothbrush head. It drastically shortens the life of the bristles.
4. To maximize the effectiveness of brushing, pick up your toothbrush right after a meal. It helps remove the food debris that bacteria feed on. Use a small dot of fluoridated toothpaste and you’re giving your teeth a dose of fluoride right when they need it most.
5. Bedtime brushing equals better sleep. Repeating a relaxing bedtime routine (including brushing your teeth, of course) eventually gets your body programmed to start winding down for sleep.
Always rinse off your toothbrush after you’ve used it and let it dry before using it again. And, don’t share your toothbrush with others; you don’t want to exchange mouth bacteria.
Remember, a regular check up with your dentist is as important as an annual physical. If you are afraid of the dentist and only make an appointment when you are in pain, think of this – regular preventive care is not painful and it will help prevent painful visits in the future. Good oral health is very important to your overall good health.