6 Toothbrush Care Tips for a Healthy Smile
If you’re like most adults, you know that brushing your teeth is important, but you may not put much thought into your toothbrush or how to best take care of it. Don’t overlook your toothbrush—it is working hard to keep your smile bright and beautiful! Our team at Prescott Dentistry has put together this list of our top toothbrush care tips to ensure that you’re getting the most out of brushing your teeth.
1. Replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months.
Replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, at the most, will ensure its continued effectiveness, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). When bristles become frayed, they don’t work as well at removing plaque from the teeth. When purchasing a new toothbrush look for the ADA seal of approval. And don’t just throw the old one in the trash! Stay tuned for our next blog post where we’ll talk about what you can do with old toothbrushes.
2. Use an electric toothbrush.
A review of 56 dental studies found that electric toothbrushes were more effective at removing plaque than manual ones. In fact, they reduced plaque buildup by 21 percent over three months and reduced gingivitis (inflammation) by 11 percent. Electric toothbrushes are also easier to use for people with arthritis.
Don’t worry if you can’t afford an electric toothbrush or if you just prefer using a manual one. Keeping up with daily brushing and flossing and maintaining your twice-yearly dental cleanings will go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy and beautiful.
3. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
You should always opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can actually damage your tooth enamel. Over time, they can cause sensitivity and tooth erosion.
4. Keep your toothbrush clean.
Since the purpose of brushing teeth is to get rid of bacteria, you are transferring that bacteria from your teeth to your toothbrush every time you brush. While you shouldn’t worry about getting sick from your toothbrush, it is prudent to keep it clean. Following these steps will help keep it as clean as possible:
- Rinse your brush thoroughly with clean water every time after you brush, and allow it to air dry. This will help remove any debris.
- Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone, even your partner or children.
- Put the head of your toothbrush in a small glass of antibacterial mouthwash if you want extra cleaning power—but using a toothbrush sanitizer isn’t necessary.
5. Store your toothbrush properly.
A lot of people store their toothbrushes in enclosed toothbrush holders to protect them from germs. However, that actually traps in moisture, giving bacteria and fungi a dark, moist environment in which they can multiply.
The best way to store your toothbrush is upright, inside a cabinet to avoid contamination. Allow it to air dry. Store your toothbrush away from your family members’ toothbrushes because direct contact can allow bacteria to be transferred between brushes.
Give us a Call!
As a holistic dentist office, at Prescott Dentistry we are passionate about prevention. Brushing your teeth well is one of the best preventative measures you can take to ensure a healthy smile. If you have more questions about toothbrush care, or about the kind of toothbrush that is right for you, ask us at your next appointment. Look out for our next blog post where we’ll discuss properly disposing of old toothbrushes and creative ways to repurpose them.