A toothbrush is one of your most important weapons in the fight against tooth decay. However, if a brush isn't cared for properly or replaced in a timely manner, it can do more harm than good.
Here is a bit of information about selecting, caring for, and replacing your toothbrush.
Selecting the Right Toothbrush
Your toothbrush should include soft bristles and a head size that is small enough to fit comfortably in your mouth.
A manual brush can clean your teeth sufficiently well, as long as you brush thoroughly with the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle to your tooth enamel. Nevertheless, some people prefer an electric toothbrush. The movement of the bristles of an electric toothbrush can clean your teeth faster and, in some cases, more thoroughly. If you suffer from mobility issues that limit your dexterity, an electric toothbrush may be the best option for you.
Caring for Your Toothbrush
To preserve your toothbrush bristles, it's best to brush your teeth gently. Too much force can damage the bristles and wear away your tooth enamel.
Also, be sure to rinse your brush thoroughly after each use. Leftover particles of food that become trapped in the bristles can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
After the brush has been rinsed, store it in an upright position, allowing it to air dry. Additionally, be sure to avoid placing your toothbrush bristles in direct contact with the head of another used brush. The germs on the other brush can be transferred to your toothbrush.
In addition, if you are planning to travel with your toothbrush be sure to use a toothbrush case that can protect the head. Cases designed for transporting toothbrushes are usually made of rigid plastic so that the bristles are not flattened or damaged during transport. The cases also protect toothbrushes from contacting foreign surfaces and picking up additional germs.
Replacing Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush should be replaced every three months or so. With regular use, the brush bristles start to degrade and become less effective at cleaning your teeth. If the bristles become frayed or excessively worn, they can damage sensitive gingival tissues.
You should also consider changing your toothbrush after a bout with a cold or virus. Using the same brush after you recover could incite a recurrence of your illness.
Depending on the state of your teeth and gums, some brushes may work better for you than others. To learn more about the proper selection, use, and maintenance of a toothbrush that will work well for you, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.