How much do you know about your toothbrush and correct oral hygiene practices? Did you know that brushing improperly or inadequately could lead to the need for restorations like crowns and fillings from a dentist? Here are five facts you might not know about your toothbrush that might improve your oral health.
Not All Toothbrushes are Created Equal
When purchasing a toothbrush, whether it is manual or powered, look for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval. To earn the ADA seal of approval, toothbrush manufacturers must adhere to strict standards. A toothbrush made in facilities not vetted by the ADA might underperform or harm teeth.
Your Toothbrush Needs to be Replaced Frequently
Even if the bristles of your toothbrush don’t appear frayed, you should still replace your toothbrush or brush heads every three to four months. A good way to remember when to replace your toothbrush is to replace it every season.
If you come down with the flu or a cold, you should replace your toothbrush after your symptoms improve, too.
Buy Toothbrushes with Soft Bristles
Some toothbrush manufacturers make brushes with different types of bristles. These bristles might be marked as “soft”, “medium”, and “firm” on packaging. When buying a toothbrush, always choose soft bristles in addition to looking for the ADA’s seal of approval.
Anything but soft bristles could lead to tooth enamel damage with repeated use. Coarse and firm bristles can wear cracks in tooth enamel over time and can irritate the gingiva.
You Shouldn’t Share Your Toothbrush
Sharing your toothbrush could expose you to bacteria and germs that your immune system is not used to. The habit of sharing a toothbrush is especially concerning for those who have health conditions that compromise their immune system.
An easy way to avoid an awkward situation is to keep new, unused toothbrushes on hand for guests.
Let Your Toothbrush Air Dry Between Uses
Your toothbrush needs to air dry between uses. A wet toothbrush can harbor bacteria and germs. Leave your toothbrush upright and in the open between uses so that it can dry.
If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, call our practice to schedule an appointment with our dentist.