Most people don’t give a lot of thought to picking out their next toothbrush. They may just buy what’s on sale or something in a style or color they like. The American Dental Association encourages everyone to consider this purchasing decision a bit more carefully to achieve the best possible oral health. Below are several factors we recommend considering here at Southbridge Dentistry. This applies to both the purchase and care of a toothbrush.
Look for the Seal of Approval from the ADA
The ADA issues a Seal of Approval on all models of toothbrushes it considers to be superior. Members from the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs evaluate each toothbrush for issues such as how well they reduce the risk of gum disease and cavities as well as strength of the bristles and handles. Many in the dental industry consider a Seal of Approval from the ADA the gold standard, and toothbrush manufacturers work hard to receive it.
It’s Best to Keep Your Toothbrush Out in the Open
Be sure to rinse your toothbrush with tap water after each use and place it in upright position to dry. Each person’s toothbrush should be at least a few inches apart to prevent any potential germs from traveling between them. The ADA recommends not covering toothbrushes or placing them in drawers because it creates a moist environment that can attract bacteria.
Soft Bristles Can Be More Effective
Bristles with medium to hard stiffness can damage the enamel of your teeth as well as your gums. You also don’t need to press too hard with your soft-bristled toothbrush. Assuming you use fluoride toothpaste, you only need to scrub hard enough to remove the thin coating of bacteria that builds up during the day. That is because the fluoride in your toothpaste will do most of the work in cleaning your teeth.
The Average Lifespan of a Toothbrush is Three Months
When your toothbrush becomes worn, it can’t do an effective job of getting your teeth clean. This usually starts happening around the three- to four-month mark. However, you should replace it sooner if you notice that its bristles are starting to look frayed.
Brush Your Teeth for at Least Two Minutes Twice a Day
Even if you already brush your teeth twice a day, it might not be enough if you’re only doing it for several seconds each time. To get your mouth as clean as possible, plan to brush for at least two minutes in the morning and again before going to bed. Additionally, brush in an up-and-down motion and be certain to get each tooth.
Never Share Toothbrushes
Even if you can’t find your toothbrush, avoid the temptation to use one belonging to someone else. This is an easy way to spread bacteria and germs. It could also be dangerous if one person has a contagious illness such as cold or flu. Using mouthwash until you can get to the store to purchase a new toothbrush would be a better solution in this scenario.
Don’t Forget to Schedule a Biannual Preventive Care Exam with Southbridge Dentistry
Regular brushing with a quality toothbrush is an important part of oral healthcare. The same is true of professional cleanings and exams. If we haven’t seen you in more than six months, please contact the Southbridge Dentistry office at 303-798-4967 or visit our appointments page to schedule an appointment.