Your toothbrush is an often-overlooked ally in the battle against dental disaster. These bristly little warriors are on the front lines of the battle with plaque and decay, but most of us take their work for granted. But you should pay attention to your toothbrush, as it’s your best friend when it comes to home dental hygiene.
At Implant Dentistry of Florida we’re big fans of your toothbrush, so we’re going to give you a little class titled Toothbrush 101.
Take care of your bristly ally
About the most important thing, you can do to help out your toothbrush is to let it dry fully between uses. This is important because toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for germs, fungus, and bacteria. In a continually damp toothbrush, these little meanies build up to levels that you don’t even want to know. Letting your toothbrush dry out, kills most of those germs. When you’re finished brushing, let tap water run through the bristles, then store the toothbrush in an upright position so that the air can dry it out.
Not that we advocate solitary confinement, but it’s wise not to let your toothbrush get too chummy with the toothbrush of your spouse or mate. This is because cold and flu viruses can jump easily from the bristles of one brush to another if they are touching. Leave the romance to date night, not your toothbrushes.
When should you change your toothbrush?
Some people use their toothbrush until the bristles are flattened like an armadillo on Alligator Alley. That kind of overuse of a toothbrush is a bad idea. The team at Implant Dentistry advises that you change your toothbrush every three months. Studies have shown that after three months of normal use, toothbrushes are no longer nearly as effective at removing plaque. The bristles bend and break down, losing their effectiveness when getting into the tough spots.
And if you’re just getting over a cold, the flu, or a mouth infection you should change your toothbrush because the germs can lurk down in the bristles leading to reinfection.
How long should I brush?
Many of you out there are cursory brushers (you know who you are), and brushing for the correct length of time may seem like watching the last two minutes of a college basketball game, an eternity. You should brush your teeth for two full minutes twice each day. To the speed brushers, anything over a minute feels like watching C-Span. But two minutes is the goal. If you want to make it easier, think just 30 seconds for each quarter. If you want to fill out that time, make sure to brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth, the pockets down along your upper gums.
Do you have more questions about how to properly handle your home dental hygiene? Call the team at Implant Dentistry, 321-259-9429, and ask away.