brushing Archives - Smile, Little Smiles, and Smile Orthodontics

tooth brushes

How to Pick the Right Toothbrush.

By | Fun Stuff, Health & Wellness

A toothbrush is a small tool with a big job.  It removes plaque, prevents tartar buildup, reduces the risk of gum disease and helps keep your breath fresh. But if you’ve wandered down the toothbrush aisle lately, the choices can be overwhelming.

toothbrushes reg or elect

Here are some tips for finding the ideal brush:

Bigger isn’t always better.  Choose a toothbrush with a head that is small enough to reach your back molars.

Go soft.  Harder bristles are not better at removing plaque.  If fact, rigid bristles do not bend enough to get between teeth or under the gum line.  And hard bristles can harm your gums.  We aren’t even sure why hard bristle toothbrushes are made!  So choose a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Ignore bristle design.  No research shows bristle length or design makes any difference.  Instead, make sure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes.

Consider electric.  An electric toothbrush with a rotating head is better at reducing gum disease and removing plaque than a regular brush.  It’s no secret since your dental hygienist uses a rotating head with your 6-month cleanings. Even better, many electric brushes offer a timer to make that 2 minute brushing even easier to achieve!

Replace often.  Get a new toothbrush every 3-4 months and after you’ve had a cold or flu bug.

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Help Make Brushing Fun for your Child

By | For Kids, Health & Wellness

You know it’s important for your child’s health.  As a parent, you want to do the right thing.  When it comes to regular tooth brushing, though, it can be a struggle just to get your child to brush his teeth.

Some parents, unfortunately, give in and allow their children to neglect good oral hygiene.  Don’t make that mistake!  Children should be taught very early how to brush.  It not only keeps their mouth free of decay and infection, but creates a healthy habit to last a lifetime.

Here are some tips that may help calm the struggle:

  •  As toddler, allow your son to “chew” on a toddler toothbrush.  Supervise your child closely, but allow him to simply have the toothbrush (without toothpaste) in his mouth.
  • Let your child pick his toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Use one the flavored children’s toothpastes.
  • Reserve brushing for the same time each time (with other morning or bedtimes routines) so it becomes expected.
  • Purchase a flashing light toothbrush.  There is one made by Firefly available at Walmart, Meijer, etc.  Turn off the bathroom lights while brushing his teeth and have some fun with it.
  • Use words like “tickle”, “sparkle” or “shiny”.
  • Do not scare your child with the threat of getting “shots” at the dentist.  In fact, make going to see your family dentist (a taking a chair ride next time you go to the dentist) a reward.

And perhaps most important, set a good example.  Your daily brushing will do more to develop good habits than anything else.