The Truth about Toothbrushes

If you think of all the people there are in the world that are as diversified culturally, climatically, and dietarilly as can be , I can still imagine that there are mothers out there telling their kids to “brush your teeth” before going to bed every night.

I myself have done this with my own kids.  When my youngest son was little, about two or three years old, he hated getting his teeth brushed.

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Here’s the kid who hated getting his teeth brushed….look at those choppers now!

And me, as the responsible mom wanting to do what was best for him and protect him from getting cavities, we went through the same ritual every night of laying him on the couch with his head in my lap and counting from one to ten as I quickly brushed in vigorous circles each area of his mouth.  To shake up the routine I would sometimes count in Spanish or French, though besides numbers don’t ask me to recall anything else from my ninth-grade French class.

As a dental professional I have spent a lot of time over the years meeting with dental reps, looking at different toothbrush heads, feeling toothbrush bristles, and trying to gauge which toothbrush would be best for me, for my family, and for my patients.

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My opinion of toothbrushes changed as I attended the Utah Dental Meeting in 2017.  I had taught for years the Bass Technique for brushing your teeth with a regular non-electric manual toothbrush, which is a 45 degree angle into the gums and circular or jiggling motion at the gumline for ten seconds every two or three teeth.  At that meeting there was a new awareness taught about biofilm and how it relates to your health, and the disease links that were emerging from bacteria thought to only be found in the mouth.  This biofilm housed aggressive, destructive bacteria that were being found in other areas of the body:  plaque in the arteries, which can cause heart attacks and strokes, , umbilical cords of stillborn babies, and other weird places like your sinuses.  Evidence was also shown that these aggressive bacteria were linked to other inflammatory diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and were directly linked to pancreatic cancer.  The link between these bacteria and disease is on the rise, they are something to be seriously concerned about.

The bacteria if colonized and grown in the mouth can hop a ride in the blood stream and travel to other areas of the body.  Nice, huh!

At this meeting there was irrefutable evidence that regular toothbrushes did not remove biofilm.

As a review of what biofilm is, it’s a colony of bacteria surrounded by a sugary sticky substance that are attached to the teeth.   The bacteria protects itself and can be hard to get off.

When I think of bacteria in biofilm, I think of weeds.

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I have done gardening for years and one thing I do know about weeds, if you don’t pull up the whole root, that darn weed will grow back.  You can knock down the tops of the weeds so you can’t see them, but they are not gone and will pop up their leaves in a few days.

In your mouth the biofilm is attached to your teeth very securely like a weed with a tap root is secured in the ground.   Bacteria’s sugary “goo” that surrounds it is resistant to antibiotics, chemicals, and regular toothbrushing.

I used to think that a toothbrush was a toothbrush, and that if you used an electric toothbrush, well, good for you!   But I didn’t think it was a necessity.  After seeing electron microscope video footage of bacteria in a biofilm colony on a tooth not even budging with a regular toothbrush, I was worried.

Then I was shown another electron microscope’s video footage of biofilm on a tooth being cleaned with a sonic instument used in the dental office called an ultrasonic , and after 30+ seconds the biofilm finally broke off of the tooth (This would be a BIG reason to have periodontal therapy done in the dental office–vibrating at 25,000 times per second and it takes 30 seconds to get the bugs off?  Think about that for a minute!)

That was a wake up call as to how important it is to have good tools to do the job right.  Now, not everyone’s biofilm is going to be so hard to get off the teeth, but I just want you to understand what is going on with the bugs in your mouth, and can you clearly see that you need power tools?

Many of you might know that it is so much easier and faster if you use a power drill over a regular screw driver to sink a screw, right?  Well, the sonic toothbrush vibrates at 30,000 times per minute….I would like to try and see anyone come close to brushing in circles that many times in a minute by hand!

So if you were to ask me what toothbrush I recommend I would hands down say a sonic toothbrush.  Now, that’s a sonic toothbrush, not a spin brush, and not an Oral B.  This video will demonstrate the difference between a manual toothbrush, a spin brush, and a sonic toothbrush.  The evidence of which cleans best is very clear.

Now, it’s great to own a sonic toothbrush, but if you don’t use it the right way, it’s not going to do you any good.

At the 2018 Utah Dental Meeting I went to the Sonicare Toothbrush Rep and asked what are the recommendations for using a sonic toothbrush and here is what he said demonstrated in this video:

 

For your best health, for better bug removal, and to to be more pro-active about disease prevention, get a sonic toothbrush.  Using one won’t guarantee that you won’t get gum disease, but it’s the best toothbrush you can use at home.  Do me a favor though, and that is to see your dental professionals for a thorough periodontal health analysis as soon as possible.  If you do have gum disease, you are at risk for many other health problems.  Periodontal therapy through the use of an ultrasonic could save your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Toothfairy Truth

Cindy Iglinski has been a Registered Dental Hygienist for over 25 years. She is the mother of two boys, Spencer and Clayton, and is the wife of her husband, David, who is her biggest fan. She has an enthusiasm for learning and loves to teach people of all ages. She has a flair for business and loves to see prosperity and success. She is an advocate of self-improvement and mentors people to be empowered through knowledge. In her spare time she enjoys playing her violin, hiking, cooking, and traveling.

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