It’s likely you don’t give much thought to the tool you use to clean your teeth everyday. This
device is so important to your oral health that the little details about your toothbrush shouldn’t
From what type of toothbrush you should buy to whether or not you need to clean it, here’s
everything you need to know about your toothbrush!
What Kind to Buy
The best kind of toothbrush to buy is any soft-bristled one. Even if you’ve bought firm
toothbrushes for years, here’s why you should switch: harder brushing damages tooth enamel.
The bristles combined with toothpaste eliminates the need for you to brush very hard in order
to remove plaque and bacteria. A gentle brushing is all that’s needed to clean your teeth and
protect tooth enamel. So make it a little easier by getting a toothbrush that’s softer!
When It Needs to Go
Your toothbrush has a pretty short life due to the fact that it’s exposed to bacteria day in and
day out. The American Dental Association recommends you get a new toothbrush every four
months at the maximum. You should replace your toothbrush sooner if:
The bristles are frayed (these can damage gum tissue)
People in your house or you have been sick and you want to be extra careful about
You just received treatment for tooth decay or gum disease
Fortunately, toothbrushes are relatively inexpensive. Keep a spare one in your bathroom and
when you open it, write the date on the package so you know when to replace it!
How to Store It
Since bacteria love to grow in moist, dark environments, keeping your toothbrush in a place like
this is a bad idea. Bathrooms tend to be exposed to humidity, so your toothbrush is already at a
disadvantage. You can still store your toothbrush in the bathroom, but be sure to keep it in an
open space. Use a toothbrush holder and if you share the holder with anyone else’s toothbrush,
be sure they don’t touch.
Don’t Ever Share
It’s never a good idea to share your toothbrush with anyone, even if they are a family member
or your spouse. Bacteria can easily transfer from mouth to mouth and if the person you share
with has gum disease, you could even be exposed to blood. Keep an extra toothbrush on hand
for guests but never share your own.
Cleaning Your Toothbrush
It’s almost impossible to get rid of all the bacteria on your toothbrush, so sanitizing it isn’t only
unrealistic, it also hasn’t been shown to have much of an effect on your oral health. Giving your
toothbrush a thorough rinse after brushing is typically all that’s needed. If you want to give your
toothbrush a deeper clean, you can soak it in mouthwash for up to 15 minutes. This isn’t
normally necessary if you’re replacing your toothbrush as needed.
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Taking good care of your toothbrush is
essential to keeping your smile healthy. Purchase the right one, store it properly, and never
share. Rinse it out after every use and you’re good to go. Happy brushing!