Your toothbrush is an essential part of maintaining any oral hygiene regimen. Walking down any oral health aisle in a drug will show you dozens of different toothbrushes and other oral health aids. How do you choose the right toothbrush for you? Also, once you do make that toothbrush selection, do you know how to care for it properly?
Choosing The Right Toothbrush
The best toothbrush for you is one that fits in your hands properly, reaches all areas, is soft, and easy to use. Toothbrushes come in different shapes, softness, and sizes for a reason, we all have different size hands and mouths. You want a handle that is able to allow you to hold it firmly. You also want a properly sized toothbrush head with soft bristles that is able to fit easily into all areas of the mouth. It is critical to be able to reach everywhere to maintain good oral hygiene.
Electric Vs Manual
There is always a question of electric vs manual toothbrushes. While, the electric toothbrush cleans more effectively, it is not for everyone. Whether it be cost, storage, charging, vibration sensitivity or personal preferences, the electric toothbrush may not be your number 1 choice. Use what works best for you, just brush with proper technique, and thoroughly. Electric toothbrushes are especially important for those with orthodontic braces, older population, and those who just need a little extra help to keep their teeth clean. It is important to use a light touch when using an electric toothbrush, and to let it do the brushing, not you. The oscillating heads can be harsher on your teeth and gums than a manual toothbrush when you scrub with it instead of placing it on one tooth at a time.
How Often Should You Change Your Brush?
Keeping a toothbrush too long will lead to an ineffective toothbrush. As a toothbrush gets used, it begins to fray and collect dangerous bacteria. The recommended rate of change is every 3-4 months for both manual toothbrushes and electric brush heads. A good tip is, if you develop a bad cold or the flu in between that time, you should change toothbrushes after the illness is over. This is to avoid reintroducing that bacteria back into your system. Might even consider using a disposable toothbrush while sick.
Cleaning And Storing Your Toothbrush
Proper toothbrush use should include rinsing thoroughly after each use to remove any excess toothpaste as well as any debris that may be left on it. A good tip will be to soak your toothbrush in an antiseptic rinse to eliminate any bacteria they may be harbored on your brush. Do not leave your toothbrush near the toilet area as the bacteria from the toilet can easily travel to your brush upon flushing. If you keep it in the cabinet, dry it off before putting it away. There are also ultra violet tooth sanitizers that you can use.
Toothbrushes should be stored so that they are able to air dry. This usually means storing them upright either in the medicine cabinet or near the sink. Bacteria generally need a moist environment to grow and prosper. Another good tip is to never share your toothbrush with anyone, as it can lead to transmission of disease and bacteria.
A clean, effective toothbrush is necessary to keep up your oral hygiene on a regular basis. Brushing should be done at least two times per day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time. Keep track of how often you change your brush, and keep the holder clean and disinfected as well. As always visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations, professional cleanings, and new toothbrushes!
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