Take a gander at your toothbrush. You know it well. It’s probably comforting to you. The toothbrush is a familiar part of your daily routine, something you see first thing every morning and final thing before bed every night. You like your toothbrush.
But the truth is, that toothbrush is probably due for replacement.
If you’re like a lot of people, you probably brush your teeth a little more vigorously that you need to. (Go ahead and ask a Stafford Township dentist, such as Thomas V Massa DMD & Associates and they’ll confirm this.) With time, your toothbrush’s bristles will begin to fray, looking like a gnarled paintbrush or broomsta. Maybe the bristles are a touch off-white now, too. Those are all clear signs that it’s time to get a new brush.
And believe us, you don’t want to be using a toothbrush that is past its useful life, because then it just won’t do the job that it’s designed to do.
If you brush your teeth the way you’re supposed to, the signs might not be as obvious. They may not jump out at you, but subtle changes in your toothbrush will make it less effective. They include:
- Slight curve/slant to the bristles – This can happen after use over a long period of time. Though visually it’s barely noticeable, this can prevent the bristles from reaching around the gum line and between the teeth.
- Loss of elasticity – Modern toothbrush bristles are designed to be bendable and elastic. This is to allow your brush to generate the gentle sweeping movement needed for the most effective brushing. As the bristles’ elasticity fades, your brushing becomes less effective.
- Harboring bacteria – No matter how clean you keep things, after a time little bacteria will begin to make a home in your toothbrush. This makes fighting plaque and germs even harder.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. If you are seeing a dentist regularly, you already know that having a fresh, clean toothbrush is vital to your oral health. Ask your Ocean County dentist how to take care of your toothbrush to make sure you get a long, useful life out of it. Some things they’ll recommend include:
- Air dry your toothbrush; do not store it in a closed container. This prevents bacteria growth
- Rinse it thoroughly after each use. This keeps the bristles flexible
- Don’t share toothbrushes! The reasons why should be obvious
- Brush gently but firmly. Many people brush too hard, wearing out their brush faster
- Replace it every 3-4 months
As any Stafford Township dentist will tell you, doing what you can to make sure your toothbrush is clean and usable is one of the most simple things you can do to be sure you have good oral health. Doing so will guarantee that every time you brush your teeth they are as clean as can be, your breath is fresh, and your future trips to your dentist will be as smooth as possible.
And let’s be honest, isn’t that the whole reason you visit your Ocean County dental office take care of your teeth in the first place?