Choosing The Right Toothbrush
Your toothbrush is an essential part of maintaining oral hygiene. There are dozens of different toothbrushes and other oral health aides available. How do you choose the right toothbrush and then properly care for it?
The best toothbrush is one that fits your hands properly, reaches all areas and is soft and easy to use. Choose a toothbrush with a handle that allows you to hold it firmly. You also want a properly sized toothbrush head with soft bristles that fit easily into all areas of your mouth. To work properly, a toothbrush should reach everywhere to maintain good oral hygiene.
Electric vs. Manual
While the electric toothbrush cleans more effectively, it is not for everyone. Electric toothbrushes can be very effective for those with orthodontic braces or people who need a little extra help to keep their teeth clean. It is important to use a light touch when using an electric toothbrush and let it do the brushing, not you. The oscillating heads can be harsher on your teeth and gums than a manual toothbrush when you scrub with it instead of placing it on one tooth at a time.
If you choose a standard toothbrush, remember is to select a model with soft bristles. A manual toothbrush is most effective with proper technique, and hard bristles can harm gum tissue if used incorrectly.
How Often Should You Change Your Brush?
Keeping a toothbrush too long leads to an ineffective toothbrush. As a toothbrush gets used, it begins to fray and collect bacteria. Whether you use an electric or manual brush, change your toothbrush every 3 – 4 months. If you develop a bad cold or the flu you should change toothbrushes after the illness is over. This avoids reintroducing those bacteria into your system.
Cleaning And Storing Your Toothbrush
You should rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use to remove any excess toothpaste and debris. Don’t leave your toothbrush near the toilet area as the bacteria from the toilet can easily travel to your brush. If you keep it in a cabinet, dry it off before putting it away. There are also ultra violet brush sanitizers you can use.
Your toothbrush should be allowed to air dry. This means storing them upright either in the medicine cabinet or near the sink. Never share your toothbrush with anyone, as it can lead to transmission of disease and bacteria.
A clean, effective toothbrush is necessary to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing should be done at least twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes. Keep track of how often you change your toothbrush, and keep the holder clean and disinfected as well. As always, see your dentist regularly for examinations, professional cleanings and a new toothbrush!