Your toothbrush, in addition to frequent visits to your dentist, is one of the most important tools in your oral health arsenal. Regular and proper brushing can prevent the development of dental caries and gum disease. As with any tool, a toothbrush must be properly cared for so that it can remove food, debris, and harmful substances like plaque. If you use a manual toothbrush, the entire toothbrush should be replaced every three months or when the bristles begin to fray (whichever comes first). Those who use electronic or battery-powered toothbrushes should replace the brush heads about four times a year (every three to four months).Following are some helpful tips for caring for your toothbrush.
Can bacteria collect on a toothbrush?
Yes, bacteria do collect on a toothbrush. Bacteria tend to collect on the bristles of the brush and sometimes, harmful bacteria infects oral tissue—especially if you have ulcers or open sores. To prevent bacterial buildup, we recommend keeping your toothbrush stored upright in between uses. This will allow the bristles to dry. Moist bristles are more likely to develop bacterial growth. Perpetually wet bristles may grow mold, too. We also recommend rinsing your toothbrush with warm water after use.
Should I use the same toothbrush after I have a cold?
Any illness means that you should throw out your toothbrush once you get well. Viral and bacterial sicknesses such as strep throat, the common cold, and any type of flu mean that your toothbrush and anyone’s toothbrush in your bathroom should be replaced.
Does the type of brush I buy matter?
We encourage patients to purchase toothbrushes approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). If your oral health care products are approved by the ADA, you will see the ADA’s seal of approval clearly on its packaging. While the quality of your brush matters, so does the methods you use to brush your teeth. It is important to brush thoroughly in soft, circular motions for at least two minutes each time. Patients should also brush along the gums and the tongue to remove as much plaque as possible.
Our team is happy to recommend oral hygiene products. Contact Ora Dental Studio to ask questions or reserve an appointment with one of our skilled dentists today.