Your toothbrush is an important tool to maintain oral hygiene and hence should be cared for just like you care for your teeth. Although toothbrushes are not meant to last forever, it can be tricky to figure out when the brush bristles have been worn out, and the toothbrush needs a replacement.
How to Choose the Right Toothbrush – Tips and Types
Different types of toothbrushes can be found in the store, and it can be challenging to decide which one suits you best. The following factors can help you make a decision:
Size of the Toothbrush
The right toothbrush allows you to access all areas of your mouth comfortably and can even reach and clean places behind the molars and along the rear gum line, which becomes more accessible with a smaller toothbrush head.
Types of Bristles
A toothbrush with soft nylon bristles works well unless otherwise prescribed by the dentist. Medium or hard bristles should be avoided as they can damage your tooth enamel and could cause an abrasion from brushing too hard.
Disposable Vs. Electric Toothbrush
There is no evidence to show effective brushing with either disposable or electric toothbrushes. It all depends on individual needs. Electric toothbrushes have an automatic timer set for a minimum of two minutes of brushing.
Electric toothbrushes also help people with limited mobility due to a health condition. However, the cost can be a significant detriment in the case of an electric toothbrush.
When to Change your Toothbrush
It is essential to take care of the toothbrush and know the right time to change it. The following factors will help you decide when it is time to say goodbye to the toothbrush:
● You have been using your toothbrush for over three to four months now.
● There have been recent dental problems to any of the family members.
● In case you are using an electric toothbrush, change the head on the electronic toothbrush every 12 weeks, which will be indicated by the wear and tear of bristles.
● You are advised to be extra cautious in case of viral or bacterial infections like strep throat, in which case changing your toothbrush becomes imperative.
● Children’s toothbrushes require replacement every three months as they tend to mash on a toothbrush head or gnaw on the handle.
● In case anyone else uses your toothbrush, get rid of it immediately as everyone’s mouth harbors different bacteria than yours.
Risks for Delaying Replacement of Toothbrush
Every time a toothbrush is used, the nylon bristles are exposed to water and chemicals from the toothpaste, which weakens them, and they start bending and twisting into a new shape – a phenomenon known as bristle flaring.
Studies have shown after 40 days of consistent use; the bristle flaring starts to make the toothbrush less effective, which ultimately leads to more plaque buildup, leading to gum disease and tooth decay.
How to Maintain Hygiene of Your Toothbrush
No matter which type of toothbrush, keeping it clean and germ-free is essential. The following tips will help:
Rinse the toothbrush under the tap water once you brush to wash away any lingering toothpaste and saliva.
Always store the brush vertically with the bristles appropriately positioned to allow them to dry.
Storing a toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, so it is best to let bristles dry properly.
While traveling, consider using disposable toothbrushes.
Avoid storing toothbrushes together in a single container with heads touching each other.
Maintaining good hygiene for optimum oral health is extremely important and hence should not be compromised upon. Regular visits to a professional and experienced dentist ensure you get comprehensive general, family, and cosmetic dentistry at our established dental practice. Abingdon Box Hill Family Dentistry offers a wide range of services, clinical expertise as well as advanced technology. The prestigious and qualified staff at the Abingdon Box Hill Family Dentistry welcomes patients of all ages. It provides quality dental services to the patients in a warm and welcoming environment.