When you get a professional cleaning at Vivant Dental, we use precisely shaped instruments to remove calculus (also known as tartar) that just can’t be removed at home. Home care is still necessary to help your teeth and gums stay healthy between appointments.
Ever wondered what toothbrush to use? Drs. Chow and Bellusci answer some commonly asked questions below.
With good brushing technique, manual toothbrushes are very effective. However, electric toothbrushes make it easier. With an electric brush, the head oscillates at a consistent speed, so all you have to do is slowly slide the brush from tooth to tooth. Electric brushes often include a timer to help you brush the recommended 2 minutes each time. Some even have pressure indicators ensure that you’re using the right amount of force.
Your toothbrush, whether manual or electric, should have soft or ultra soft bristles. Medium or hard bristles may cause damage to your teeth and gums. Some brush heads include a combination of shorter and longer bristles, bristles at different angles, and occasionally rubber extensions to get to difficult-to-reach areas.
Brush heads come in all different shapes. Round heads, due to their smaller size allows for easier access to different surfaces. Long heads clean several teeth at a time, but may be difficult to use in tight spaces, such as behind the back molars. Specially shaped heads suited to brushing around braces or areas of recession are also available. Ask your dentist about these!
The Canadian Dental Association recommends you change your toothbrush every 3 months. Also, check the bristles – if the tips are fraying, it’s time for a new one!
For children, we recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes as well. Children’s toothbrushes are generally smaller than adult toothbrushes and may include handles that allow for an easier grip. They usually have bright, colourful features that make them visually attractive to children. Manual toothbrushes are age-rated, with different sizes for each age category. When children are old enough to use them, electric brushes are great for removing plaque.
Ask us about toothbrushes and brushing techniques at your next visit. Book your checkup and cleaning today.
It’s never too early to think about your baby’s dental health. These tips will answer some commonly asked questions about caring for the teeth of your little one.
Well before the first tooth comes in, you can establish healthy habits by cleaning your child’s gums with a clean, damp cloth. When the first tooth comes in around the age of 6 months, it’s time to start brushing! Caregivers should use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head. Simply wet the bristles and gently brush all tooth surfaces and gums at least twice a day. You may find that brushes with bigger handles are easier to hold. The use of fluoridated toothpaste should be discussed with your dentist, and if recommended, the amount should be no bigger than a grain of rice.
Baby teeth usually come out with spaces between them – you only need to floss places where the teeth are touching. This typically happens around the ages of two to three years when most of the baby teeth have come in. Try flossers with handles if you find yourself struggling with traditional floss! Please note that most children don’t have the ability to brush or floss properly until age six. This is your area to shine! While you’re in the mouth, also lift the lip, and check for any discoloured spots or pitting on the teeth that may indicate decay.
The Canadian Dental Association recommends the first visit within 6 months of the first tooth coming in, or by the age of one. In addition to eating, baby teeth serve a crucial role as placeholders for adult teeth. If lost early to decay, other teeth may drift into the space and block the adult teeth from coming in straight. This is why regular dental checkups are important throughout childhood.
The dentists and team Vivant Dental in Surrey provide dental care to children. You can download the toothbrushing chart that Drs. Chow and Bellusci have provided during their presentations to children at early learning centres. We invite you and your little one to visit our child-friendly office!