Keeping your toothbrush in good condition is essential for good dental hygiene. Here’s how you can make sure your toothbrush gets the job done!
Properly caring for your toothbrush is almost a no-brainer. But how exactly do you maintain your toothbrush? We hear of so many different methods — including a few common myths — about how to maximize a toothbrush’s lifespan and cleanliness, so we’re sharing five top ways to take care of your toothbrush that will enable you to clean your teeth as thoroughly as possible.
5 Tips for Toothbrush Maintenance
- Wash your hands
For the past year or so, we’ve been extra diligent about washing our hands in order to prevent the spread of germs. Well, the same rules apply when brushing your teeth! Washing your hands helps keep your toothbrush free of germs and bacteria for longer, which in turn helps promote long-term tooth and gum cleanliness.
- Clean your toothbrush
As well as your hands, you should clean your toothbrush with running water both before and after you’ve brushed your teeth. If there’s debris caught in your toothbrush’s bristles, you can take your clean finger and run it through the bristles to brush it away.
MYTH: You need to boil or disinfect your toothbrush. Because most bacteria from your mouth is anaerobic, meaning it dies in the presence of oxygen, there’s no need to boil your toothbrush or use a special disinfecting method. You could temporarily submerge the toothbrush head in white vinegar, antiseptic mouthwash, or 3% hydrogen peroxide to deep clean it — however, running water and sufficient drying should be enough (and won’t potentially leave a bad taste).
- Keep your toothbrush dry
Moisture encourages bacteria growth, so it’s important to dry your toothbrush after using and cleaning it. This means you shouldn’t keep your toothbrush in an enclosed container or a drawer when you’re done brushing your teeth. The best way to dry your toothbrush is to shake off any excess water after rinsing it, then place it upright in a vertical toothbrush holder. If you share a toothbrush holder with a family member or housemate, make sure your toothbrushes never touch. (And never share toothbrushes, even with a loved one, as this easily spreads bacteria.)
- Avoid using too much pressure
Using your toothbrush with lots of physical force speeds up its inevitable wear-and-tear. This is especially true when it comes to the bristles — excessive pressure can make a toothbrush’s bristles fray, break, or fall out. Instead of brushing your teeth hard and fast, use gentle and repetitive circular motions.
MYTH: Brushing harder cleans your teeth more efficiently. Too much pressure from your toothbrush can actually damage your teeth’s enamel and cause it to deteriorate. Brushing your teeth gently is safer for your mouth and your toothbrush.
- Change your toothbrush often
In order to ensure your toothbrush is clean and well-shaped, change your toothbrush often. A new toothbrush every three to four months is usually necessary in order to effectively clean your teeth.
MYTH: Check your toothbrush’s bristles to know when to change your toothbrush. While mashed, crooked, and far-apart bristles are usually a good sign that it’s time to swap out your toothbrush, there are many other ways to determine how often to switch your toothbrush.
Talk Toothbrushes with your Dentist
Keeping your toothbrush in top-notch condition is critical to the health of your teeth and gums. A properly maintained toothbrush will last a long time and clean your teeth thoroughly throughout its lifespan. At Espire Dental, we can offer expert advice on your everyday brushing habits and help improve your dental health in every aspect. If you’re near the La Mesa, CA area, contact us online or call us at (619) 430-2616 for a beautiful smile, inside and out!