If you do a good job of brushing and flossing each day, you may not pay too much attention to the type of toothbrush you're using, whether it's disinfected, or whether the bristles are worn out. While it may not seem like a big deal, the condition of your toothbrush can play a role in its effectiveness in combatting plaque. Here are three tips to make sure your toothbrush is helping your oral hygiene rather than hindering it.
Replace Your Toothbrush at the Right Time
You may just get a new toothbrush each time you go to your dentist's for a checkup; however, you should be changing out your toothbrush more frequently. The CDC says that people should replace their toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months. When toothbrush bristles lose their stiffness and flare, they can become less effective and you may develop more plaque on your teeth. If your toothbrush loses its efficacy, it may be more tempting to brush your teeth too aggressively, which isn't good for your enamel or gum tissue.
Use Soft Bristled Toothbrushes
While you want your toothbrush to have stiff bristles that can effectively scrub your teeth, you should look for a soft-bristled toothbrush. Some hard-bristled toothbrushes can actually damage your gum tissue and cause recession; some can be too rough on enamel. Ask your dentist to recommend a good toothbrush for your needs.
Extend the Life of Your Toothbrush with Disinfecting
If your toothbrush sits out on your counter in the bathroom, then it can be exposed to bacteria that are lingering in the air. If you don't replace your toothbrush after an illness, then these germs can also sit and fester in your toothbrush.
It's a good idea to disinfect your toothbrush every so often to extend the life of your toothbrush and eliminate any germs so that your brushing habits actually clean your teeth.
There are a few different ways you can go about disinfecting. For instance, you could let the bristles soak in mouthwash or denture cleanser since these are made up of antimicrobial ingredients. Some people may want to dip their toothbrushes in boiling water, but if you do this, don't leave the toothbrush in for long since you don't want to warp the plastic handle. You could also look into UV ray toothbrush holders which sanitize rushes after use. One study showed that UV ray treatments were more effective at disinfecting than Chlorhexidine mouthwash and saline.
Reach out to a local dentist today for more tips and information on preventative dental care.