Here at Valley Dental Care, we know that the best oral care is preventative care. With proper oral hygiene, you can prevent cavities, gum disease, and several other dental problems. If you ask us, PREVENTING these conditions is much better than TREATING them!
At-home oral hygiene is the key to preventing tooth decay and plaque buildup. You need to brush your teeth and floss twice a day – and you need to be using the best possible tooth care tools, including your toothbrush.
How can you be sure that your toothbrush is up to snuff? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you practice proper toothbrush care.
You might think that “the best possible toothbrush” is an electric brush that cost hundreds of dollars. While there’s nothing wrong with those high-end models (they are certainly effective), they still require proper care if they’re going to clean your teeth properly. No matter what kind of brush you use, make sure you’re following these rules:
Change Every Three Months
The ADA suggests that people change their toothbrush head every three to four months. This is because your brush head can become frayed and matted over time. As the bristles warp, they become less effective at cleaning your teeth.
If you have an electric toothbrush, just swap out the brush head after three or four months. If you use a manual brush, head down to the grocery store and pick up another brush! Just like that, you’ll have a brand-new brush head ready to tackle your mouth.
Rinse After Use
Every time you brush your teeth, you expose your toothbrush to bacteria, food particles, sugars, and acids that have been sitting in your mouth. Sure, the brush wipes those things away… but it’s very important to rinse them off the brush when you’re done!
After brushing your teeth, rinse your brush under the tap and let it air dry. Otherwise, all that bacteria will be waiting for you the next time you use your brush.
Store it Upright
After you’ve brushed your teeth, make sure you store that toothbrush sitting upright – for example, sitting in a cup. This will allow excess water to drain away from the brush (instead of nestling into the bristles) and prevent bacteria from making their home in your brush head.
Now that we’ve talked about proper toothbrush care, let’s discuss some of the common mistakes people make with their brushes. These habits can be a problem for your oral hygiene, so make sure you never do these big no-nos:
Share a Toothbrush
We don’t care if you’re sharing with your spouse, your kid, or your sibling – JUST DON’T SHARE A TOOTHBRUSH! Every person’s mouth contains unique bacterium, and it’s not a good idea to introduce those germs to your mouth when you’re trying to brush your teeth.Also, sharing a brush with make the bristles break down twice as fast – which means you’ll be buying new brush heads much more often.
Store it Improperly
Most of us keep our toothbrushes in the bathroom. This makes sense; after all, the bathroom is where we use the brush! However, if you aren’t careful with where you store your toothbrush, you might be putting all kinds of germs onto the brush head during the day. Avoid keeping it near the toilet (you’d be shocked how many germs fly out of the bowl when you flush).
Book a Dentist Appointment
While preventative care is an essential part of good oral hygiene, it’s not a substitute for a regular visit with your dentist. If you want to schedule an appointment with Valley Dental Care, call one of our offices today!