All Sorts of Things Live in Your Toothbrush
If you are like most people, you probably do not want to know about the things that live in your toothbrush. Yet a little knowledge goes a long way toward understanding how you can take better care of your teeth and gums.
Common knowledge about good oral health dictates that you need to brush your teeth twice a day. So, try not to cut corners. Taking care of your teeth means brushing them for a minimum of two minutes each time you brush. Plus, you should floss your teeth at least once per day.
Remember to Replace your Toothbrush Every Three to Four Months
Another aspect involved in taking good care of your teeth involves the simple chore of changing your brush on a regular basis.
Your dentist thinks that you should brush twice a day and change your brush several times a year. Do not wait until you visit the dentist for a cleaning just because you are going to receive a free brush. Remember that your mouth should feel clean after you brush your teeth. If your teeth feel as though they are being neglected, it is time to replace your brush.
Aside from the fact that a brush is not manufactured to last forever, germs and bacteria pose another issue. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should replace your brush every three to four months. If you have been suffering from a bad cold or a sore throat, you should probably replace your brush as soon as you recuperate. Another alternative is to sterilize the brush using Listerine mixed with water.
Many people never bother changing their toothbrushes unless a dentist offers them complimentary brushes.
Replace your Brush when the Bristles No Longer Look New
You can tell that your brush needs replacement because the bristles are bent out of shape. Once bristles lose their shape, they are no longer precise brushing tools. You should replace your brush every three or four months if you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. You can wait longer if you only brush your teeth once a day. However, brushing your teeth once a day is not enough brushing to maintain good oral hygiene.
Prevent Bacteria by Storing your Toothbrush in an Upright Position
Do not store your brush with the brush side down or by placing the brush in a flat position on top of a counter. Do not store your brush inside a cabinet where it remains wet. Instead, stand your brush up in a plastic cup so that it is able to dry. Storing and drying your brush in this way detracts bacteria from the temptation to live on your toothbrush. Additionally, germs love moisture. Consequently, they are unable to thrive on a brush unless it is constantly wet.
Rules about Flossing your Teeth
A typical family dentist believes that flossing is perhaps even more important than brushing. Flossing with dental floss removes food and plaque from your teeth. Plaque removal helps prevent tartar build-up. Plus, flossing benefits your gums. Avoid flossing your teeth in a straight, up and down motion. You do not want to dig the dental floss into your gums. Instead, gently floss the sides of each tooth by moving the floss back and forth.
Good oral hygiene involves taking excellent care of your teeth at home. Even though you should visit your family dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and cleaning, remember to do the following things in your own home:
- Brush your teeth every morning and night.
- Floss your teeth once a day with dental floss.
- Store your brush in an upright position.
- Replace your brush when the bristles look unbalanced.
- Replace or sterilize your brush when you recuperate from a virus, sore throat or cold.
Avoid Storing your Brush Near the Toilet
One thing you may not have thought about is that it is better to store your brush a good distance from the toilet. Also, make sure you close the toilet lid when you flush so that unsanitary particles do not float in the air and land on your toothbrush.
Rinse the Brush after you Finish Brushing your Teeth
Believe it or not, some people brush their teeth and do not rinse their brushes after they finish brushing. They simply take the brushes out of their mouths and store them somewhere. You need to ensure that you rinse your brush each time you clean your teeth. Otherwise, your brush will attract and harbor germs. Do not tempt bacteria.
Avoid Brushing your Teeth Using Vigorous Up and Down Movements
If you were taught to attack your teeth with a toothbrush, think again. Brush with gentle, circular movements. Do not forget to brush the back of each tooth. A little oral hygiene goes a long way. If you want to maintain good oral health, treat your teeth with respect.
What to Do if you Need to Visit the Dentist
You still may need to visit your dentist even if you floss, brush your teeth and store your brush the right way. Your family dentist also practices cosmetic dentistry that can help you achieve a more dazzling smile.
Sometimes, brushing is not enough. Gingivitis and periodontal disease can cause you to lose your teeth. It is always a good idea to make an appointment with a local family dentist who cares about saving your teeth. You may need to get your teeth examined and cleaned, have a filling, extract a decayed tooth or obtain a more beautiful smile.