La Mesa, CA – You probably don’t put much thought into your toothbrush. Chances are, you just grab one that looks nice, is your favorite color, or that is a good price when shopping at the drugstore. But your toothbrush plays an important role in helping to keep you healthy, so Dr. Santiago Surillo wants to share some things you should know before picking out your next toothbrush.
- The bristles matter. Have you ever checked the toothbrush box to see what kind of bristles the brush has? Make sure you buy soft-bristled brushes only. The bristles may be soft, but they will still be plenty strong enough to remove any debris from your teeth. Using a hard-bristled brush can actually damage your gums, and if you brush too hard, it can remove your tooth enamel.
- The smaller the head of the toothbrush, the better. Soft-bristled toothbrushes often have smaller heads, which is a good thing. That means it will be easier to maneuver in your mouth, and easier to get into the hard-to-reach places at the back of the mouth.
- Change your toothbrush often. If you are using a toothbrush for longer than three months at a time, that is too long. Your body accumulates a lot of germs and bacteria and just think about all that can accumulate on your toothbrush from using it at least twice a day every day, and from it just coming into contact with the air. It’s a good idea to change your toothbrush out about every three months to ensure your brush is always as fresh as possible. Likewise, if you’ve been sick, it’s a good idea to replace the toothbrush you used during the illness. If you notice the bristles of your brush look splayed, that’s a good indication that your brush has reached the end of its life.
- Never share your toothbrush. Each of us has bacteria unique to our mouths. Sharing toothbrushes can introduce someone else to us and can be dangerous to our oral health. Likewise, if someone in your family has been sick, never use their toothbrush.
- Clean your toothbrush. You use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, but you need to remember to keep the brush clean, as well. Make sure you rinse it thoroughly after each use to remove any debris and leftover toothpaste and make sure your toothbrush can dry between uses. Never put an airtight cover on your toothbrush as this can foster bacteria and allow mold to develop.
“Toothbrushes are an important tool in maintaining our health,” says Dr. Surillo at Children’s Braces and Dentistry. “Our oral health has a direct impact on our overall health, so it’s important to make sure we take care of our toothbrushes, and use the right kind of toothbrush, to keep not just dental disease, but other diseases and conditions, at bay.”