Home Goods for Healthy Living #2: The Right Toothbrush
You probably don't have to be told that brushing your teeth twice a day is the best way to prevent decay and gum disease. But you may need to be reminded that proper oral hygiene requires brushing in a gentle circular motion for a full two minutes. It's a habit that will benefit more than your smile: According to a recent Scottish study, people who brushed their teeth twice a day were 70 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who scrubbed up less often.
Splurge or save? It depends.
"Whatever helps you brush correctly so that you're covering all the surfaces of your teeth is the best one for you," says Kimberly Harms, DDS, an American Dental Association (ADA) consumer advisor in Farmington, Minnesota. For the conscientious brusher, an inexpensive manual toothbrush is more than adequate. "Use a soft-bristle brush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance," she says.
A mechanical brush may be worth the extra money for people who are less meticulous about their oral health: Studies show that power brushes do remove more plaque than manual brushes. But no toothbrush can take the place of flossing, warns Harms. "Brushing alone cannot eliminate the plaque between your teeth." (And a container of floss can cost less than $2.)