There is a great deal of value in the old adage that you should select the right tool for the right job. This is true in many aspects of life, and dental hygiene is no exception. Understanding how to properly care for your toothbrush can help ensure that you and your family have bright, healthy smiles and good overall health.
Out With the Old, In With the New
When it comes to the standard, handheld, non-motorized toothbrush, there have been relatively few advancements in recent decades. Most toothbrushes share the same basic design, with bristles that are anchored in small, circular groups within the head of a plastic handle. This design has proved an effective means of removing food particles, bacteria and accumulated plaque from the surface of your teeth. Over time, however, the ends of these bristles will begin to fray. That leaves them less effective at cleaning the surface of your teeth, which is why dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush approximately every three months.
It is also important to replace a toothbrush any time that you've experienced a cold or flu, an infection within the mouth or a persistent sore throat. Doing so ensures that any bacteria or viruses that may be present on the bristles of your toothbrush are removed from the equation in your dental hygiene routine. Many people prefer to buy their favorite toothbrushes in bulk so that there's always a spare on hand when it's time for a replacement toothbrush.
The Importance of Proper Toothbrush Care
After brushing, your toothbrush should be thoroughly rinsed under running water to remove any bits of food, bacteria or other debris that may be present on the surface of the bristles. Next, it's important to store toothbrushes in an upright position where there will be plenty of air circulation. Your toothbrush should be allowed to air dry in between uses, which reduces the risk of bacterial or viral contamination. Bacteria and viruses thrive in a warm moist environment, which is why open air drying is an important component of good dental hygiene.
How to Promote Dental Health While Traveling
During vacations or other types of travel, it's important to maintain proper dental hygiene routines. That means brushing your teeth twice a day with a toothbrush that does not have excessive wear. When transporting your toothbrush, it's important to use a plastic toothbrush cover to protect the brush from contamination by other items in your travel bag. However, your toothbrush should never be placed back inside a travel case while still damp. Allow your toothbrush to air dry prior to placing it back into its travel container.
At Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, our team is committed to providing our patients with comprehensive dental care. Part of that process involves educating patients and their families on the best methods of promoting good dental hygiene. Your toothbrush is the most vital tool in promoting a happy and healthy mouth, and following these simple steps outlined above can help keep you and your family smiling for many years to come. Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is currently accepting new patients, and we welcome you to contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with a dentist and to learn more about the services that we are honored to provide.