Every few months, we must replace the things we use most often. Take, for instance, the oil in our cars, and the filters in our HVAC systems.
Your toothbrush is no different. It needs regular replacements and maintenance to do its job effectively. And your toothbrush has a pretty important job: keeping your teeth clean!
Here’s how to take care of your toothbrush:
Brush with a Light Hand
When you brush your teeth, you want to remove all plaque and bacteria. Some people think that to do this, they need to brush firmly. But cleaning teeth is vastly different than scrubbing dirty dishes.
The benefits of lighter brushing are twofold:
- It stops the bristles from becoming frayed and ineffective
- Lighter brushing prevents damage to your gums and teeth
So, remember to brush gently! It’s just as effective at removing plaque, but even better, because it doesn’t damage your brush or your gums. Brushing too firmly with hard bristles can make your gums recede.
Store It Properly
After we use a toothbrush, the bristles are wet. They can’t dry properly if you store the brush laying down, or in a closed drawer. Instead, purchase a toothbrush holder that keeps the brush upright. This keeps the shape of the bristles intact and allows them to dry completely between each use.
Taking your toothbrush on the go? Cover the bristles using a toothbrush cap, and prevent your brush from getting dirty or damaged during your travels. Alternatively, you can keep it in a plastic sandwich bag.
Wash It Before Each Use
You never know what kind of bacteria may have found its way to your toothbrush since you last used it. Before you start cleaning your teeth, run your toothbrush under water for a few seconds. Make sure to rinse it off once you’re finished, too.
And, make sure to wash your hands! While you’re brushing, they’ll be just as close to your teeth as your toothbrush is. Wash your hands with hot soap and water before and after you brush your teeth.
Replace It Often
Sometimes, we forget to replace the little tools and devices we use almost every day. When’s the last time you washed the hand towel in your bathroom? And what about the loofah in your shower?
We recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months. But if the bristles appear frayed and damaged, consider switching it out sooner.
If you want to give it a quick clean, here’s an easy way to disinfect it: submerge it in an antibacterial mouthwash. You only need to soak it for a few minutes; any longer may cause the bristles to weaken. Next, rinse it off, and your brush is good to go.
Don’t Share It!
If someone asks to borrow your toothbrush, it puts you in a difficult position. You don’t want to say no, but the idea of giving someone else your toothbrush is…a bit icky, to say the least.
As it turns out, it could be harmful to share your toothbrush. The bacteria in their mouth can easily transfer to yours, causing oral health issues or even illness. The next time someone asks to use your toothbrush, don’t be afraid to say no! You can offer them a bit of toothpaste for their finger instead.
Visit East Kildonan Dental
Want to know one of the best parts about visiting the dentist? You get a free toothbrush afterward! If you need a new toothbrush, then it’s probably time to visit your dentist. Call us today to schedule your appointment.