As far as everyday objects go, the toothbrush is fairly straightforward (or so most people think). Rinse, apply toothpaste, brush teeth, repeat. Most of us are aware of the fact that we should probably replace a toothbrush more often than we actually do, but brushing our teeth is so innate that many of us don't really give much thought to our toothbrushes at all until the bristles become worn and bent out of shape. As a rule, Dr. Chris Houser, your dentist in Gainsville, VA, recommends replacing a toothbrush every three to four months, depending on individual factors such as how often and vigorously a person brushes.
Dental Services in Gainsville, VA
In addition to the mechanical wear and tear on a toothbrush, there are also a number of less commonly known factors that will affect its effectiveness and shelf life. Think about the last time you had a cold or the flu - did it occur to you to replace your toothbrush? What about if you develop a canker or cold sore? As a toothbrush cleans your teeth and gums, it collects the bacteria like any other surface. The precautions that we take to eliminate exposure to bacteria after a cold or infection should apply to a toothbrush as well.
Other recommendations for toothbrush maintenance and cleanliness include:
- Electrical toothbrushes provide more rotations than manual for more effective cleaning
- Opt for soft bristles to protect your gums from irritation
- Size matters - make sure that the head of the toothbrush is not too large for your mouth, which can make it difficult to reach and properly clean all of the teeth, especially in the back
- Don't forget to brush your tongue for clean, fresh breath (look for a brush that has a tongue cleaner built in)
A good oral hygiene routine and regular dental visits are the best way to prevent gum disease and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Find a Dentist in Gainsville, VA
Healthy teeth and gums begin at home with daily brushing and flossing, and regular trips to the dentist for a check-up and professional dental cleaning. For more information, contact Heritage Hunt Dental by calling 703-754-5800 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Houser today.