When to Replace a Toothbrush

Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric one, over time the bristles become less effective at cleaning your teeth. So, how often do you change your toothbrush or electric brush head? Continue reading to find out!

When to Know It’s Time

At Snow Family Dentistry, we recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Additionally, you should consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick or if your toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes.

When in doubt, we also suggest looking at your toothbrushes’ bristles. If they are frayed, they won’t clean teeth as thoroughly. Most children brush harder than adults, and therefore have to have their toothbrushes replaced more often.

Different Types of Toothbrushes

There are two styles of toothbrushes to consider, including manual and electric. At Snow Family Dentistry, we suggest choosing what feels comfortable and makes you want to brush your teeth regularly.

For instance, a manual toothbrush is portable and ready to use every time you need it. It makes no noise, and you will have complete control over the pressure it puts on your teeth and gums. However, it might not clean as effectively as an electric toothbrush. The rotating movement of the bristles makes it easier for electric toothbrushes to clean between teeth and at the gum line. Many electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors to make sure you brush long enough and don’t press too hard.

Maintaining Your Toothbrush

No matter which type of toothbrush you use, you need to keep it clean. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends rinsing your toothbrush under tap water after you brush to wash away lingering toothpaste and saliva. After you are done, store your toothbrush in a vertical position, with the bristles positioned so they can air dry.

This is because storing a toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, therefore it’s best to let the bristles of your toothbrush fully dry between each use. At Snow Family Dentistry, we even recommend using disposable toothbrushes if you’re traveling.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry

Interested in learning more about proper toothbrush hygiene or care? Schedule an appointment with us today!

What Do Energy Drinks Do to My Teeth?

Despite many reports stating energy drinks are bad for your health (and teeth), they continue to gain popularity. What most people don’t know is that the high acidity level in these beverages can strip teeth enamel and leave permanent damage. It’s time to consider whether the extra boost is worth the permanent risk to your smile.

What Qualifies as an Energy Drink?  

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states:

“Energy drinks are widely promoted as products that increase energy and enhance mental alertness and physical performance. Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens and young adults.”

Some of the most popular brands of energy drinks sold in North America include Red Bull, Monster, and RockStar.

Energy Drink Ingredients

Most energy drinks contain the following ingredients:

  • Caffeine
  • Taurine (an amino acid that shows no evidence of providing energy)
  • Guarana (a plant native to the Amazon region that contains a very high concentration of caffeine)
  • Sugar

Why Energy Drinks Are Bad for Your Teeth

Energy drinks cause cavities in the same way sodas do: high sugar content and very acidic pH level.

Mouth bacteria consumes sugar, which produces acid. When this acid stays in contact with the enamel surface of your teeth, it begins to weaken it. This process creates cavities.

Additionally, all energy drinks, even the sugar-free versions, have a very low pH level. Consistently drinking very acidic drinks predisposes you to a higher risk for cavities.

How to Quit Energy Drinks

You might have a dependency on caffeine if you are used to drinking multiple energy drinks per day. To quit drinking them altogether, you may have to practice small steps. Here are a few methods to consider:

  • Drink smoothies and juices: Using natural sources like fruits and vegetables can help supply your body with Vitamin B, which helps your body perform at optimum levels.
  • Green Tea: Green tea contains natural caffeine in small quantities and also carries health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Water: Water is actually a great energy drink because your metabolic reactions slow down when you’re dehydrated. This can lead to lower energy levels.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry

If you need more suggestions on how to stop drinking energy drinks, or have concerns about tooth damage resulting from consuming them, schedule a free consultation with us today!

How to Comfort Your Baby During Teething

Did you know that your baby is born with 20 teeth under the gum line?  Additionally, your baby’s first tooth usually appears between six months and one year of age.

When your infant starts teething, it can be a very challenging time. Follow these Snow Family Dentistry tips to help soothe your child during this trying period.

Signs Your Baby is Teething

If your baby is around 6 months old (timing varies), you may start noticing the following teething symptoms:

  • Sore gums
  • Drooling
  • Irritability
  • Low fever
  • Chewing
  • Diarrhea
  • Drool rash around the mouth

It should be noted that if your baby has a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and has diarrhea, you should speak to your doctor.

Soothing Methods

  1. Massage Your Baby’s Gums

Applying pressure to your infant’s gums may help ease the pain. To do this, wash your hands and massage your baby’s gums gently with your finger.

  1. Use a Cold Washcloth

Letting your child chew on a cold, damp washcloth can help ease their pain.

  1. Refrigerate Pacifier

Refrigerate your child’s pacifier to numb their gums and to relieve pain. Additionally, you can use this same method with solid teething toys.

  1. Create Milk Popsicles

Your child may stop eating when they are teething due to discomfort.

As a solution, we suggest finding popsicle molds and filling and freezing them with breast milk or formula.

  1. Wipe Away Drool

Babies have a tendency to drool while teething. This can cause a rash and further irritation if not wiped away quickly.

  1. Chill Fruit

If you have introduced your baby to solid foods, try freezing some types of foods to help soothe irritated gums. At Snow Family Dentistry, we recommend chilling mashed bananas.

  1. Snuggle Time

Sometimes the best way to help a baby in discomfort is some extra cuddle time. Rocking your baby in a big chair or carrying your baby around the house are great ways to soothe their discomfort.

  1. Pain Medications

As a last resort, you can talk to your doctor about providing over-the-counter pain medication. These medicines help alleviate pain and allow your baby to go to sleep.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry

Once your baby’s first tooth appears, the American Dental Association recommends scheduling your child’s first dental visit. Additionally, regular dental visits set the foundation for your child to have healthy gums and teeth.

At Snow Family Dentistry, pediatric dentistry is one of our many specialties! Click here to schedule an appointment with us today!