It's not the toothpaste!

As a dental hygienist, I am constantly asked by my patients which toothpaste is the best. The number of choices available today certainly can be overwhelming, but my answer is always the same. It’s not the toothpaste you use, but how you brush that makes all the difference.

Plaque is the cause of everything bad that can happen in your mouth: cavities, gingivitis and gum disease. It has even been linked to serious systemic conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Thorough removal of plaque is so important for the health of your mouth and as well as your whole body.

One secret to brushing better is brushing longer. It takes a minimum of 2 minutes to adequately clean all your teeth. Most people brush for 30 seconds. Use a timer if you have to but don’t skimp on brushing time. Also, it is very important to clean between your teeth. Over 40% of you tooth’s surface is between the teeth. If you are not doing something to clean this area, you are missing nearly half of all your teeth’s surfaces. Floss is usually the best choice for this but there are other implements available that can do the job. Just ask your hygienist.

So find toothpaste that you like and enjoy using, brush longer and clean in between. It will not only benefit your oral health but your total body health.

Kathy C. Kathy C has been a dental hygienist at Emerson Dental Arts for over 20 years.

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