This post sponsored by Plush Dentistry
“Don’t forget to brush your teeth!” is a phrase that echoes nightly throughout every household.
For many of us, brushing our teeth was one of the first responsibilities we were tasked with growing up. It’s a hygiene habit we pass on to our little ones, and a reminder we hear at the dentist each time we visit. While we know that it’s important to brush (and floss!) twice a day, there are still many important facts about our toothbrushes that aren’t common knowledge.
Maintain a smile that’s healthy and sparkling white with regular trips to the dentist and healthy toothbrush habits at home. The team at PLUSH Dentistry wants to help you maintain beautiful teeth year-round, at home and in the dentist’s chair, with some industry-approved toothbrush tips that will ensure you’re getting the most out of your twice-daily cleanings.
Where and How Should I Store My Toothbrush?
Many people don’t give much thought to where they keep their toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste. These items are commonly kept in the bathroom, but it doesn’t make much difference if they’re in a cup, an airtight case or the medicine cabinet, right? Actually, the way you store these products, most notably your toothbrush, can make a difference when it comes to your oral health.
Before you put away your toothbrush for the day, consider these tips:
- Store your toothbrush at least six feet away from the toilet. The further away your toothbrush sits from the porcelain throne, the less likely it is that your brush will be exposed to the bacteria that reside there. Another effective way to reduce the probability of contamination is to close the toilet lid before every flush.
- Forgo the false security of a cap or case. Commonly advertised for travel, plastic bristle caps and toothbrush cases often appear to be a great option for keeping your brush’s bristles free of foreign material. While these products work well for stuffed suitcases and crowded carry-ons, they can actually do more harm than good in the long-term. Trapping your wet toothbrush in an airtight contain actually encourages excess bacterial growth–and not always the good kind. Let your toothbrush air dry whenever possible to prevent mildew and a number of other unpleasant afflictions.
How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
- Aim to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Generally, the bristles on a manual toothbrush become weak and much less effective after about 90 days. Replacing your brush will also give you a clean slate when it comes to any potential contamination or bacteria growth your brush many have accumulated along the way.
- Toss your toothbrush after an illness. Whether it’s a mild cold or the flu, we do know that germs spread quickly when a family member is sick. Getting sick again from your own toothbrush is far less than ideal. Once you’re well on the road to recovery, be sure to swap out your toothbrush in conjunction with your post-illness routine of cleaning the sheets and wiping household down surfaces.
What’s the Best Type of Toothbrush?
While it seems simple enough, shopping for a toothbrush can be overwhelming at times. If you’re looking to boost your hygiene routine, you might consider making the switch to an electric toothbrush in place of your manual one.
Are electric toothbrushes most effective than manual ones? If so, what type of electric brush should you buy? Every mouth is different. An electric brush may work great for your partner, but leave your sensitive gums feeling sore and inflamed.
We recommend consulting with a dentist to determine which toothbrush will work best for you, but there are a few things to consider about each general type of brush.
- Reach for soft-bristled brushes. While instinct may tell you that tougher bristles will give you a deeper clean (think steel wool for tough dishes), hard bristles actually have the potential to damage your mouth and gums. Avoid redness, irritation and bleeding with softer bristles that deliver just as much cleaning power as their stiff counterparts.
- Opt for electric brushes when you can. Thanks to battery power, these brushes far surpass manual brushes when it comes to revolutions per minute. The faster rotations across your teeth, the more plaque and bacteria you’ll be able to remove. Remember, everyone is different. Electric brushes are effective plaque fighters, but consult with your dentist before you make the switch.
- Consider eco-friendly options. Believe it or not, over 25,000 tons of annual waste in America is made up of toothbrushes. A number of companies are combatting this waste with brush handles made of recycled plastic or even biodegradable materials like bamboo. Next time you’re in the market for a new toothbrush, try exploring greener options whenever possible.