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Get to Know Your Toothbrush

By Jill Hamilton on October 22, 2013 in Dental Health


10.22 Get to Know Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is your smile's secret weapon. It yields the mighty power to destroy plaque and the added benefit of sloughing off stains.

You may have spent many hours of quality time with your toothbrush, but do you really know everything about it? No? Well, here are 5 things you should know:

1. Opt for soft bristles over hard ones unless otherwise instructed by your dentist. Soft bristles are more pliable and can get between teeth easier. Hard bristles can make brushing painful and may also wear away gums and tooth enamel.

2. If you were still enjoying the warm summer weather the last time you replaced your toothbrush, you're definitely overdue for a new one. Toothbrushes need to be replaced when they get frayed and worn, which is typically every three months . Particularly vigorous brushers will probably need to replace more frequently.

3. It may be tempting for teething tots, but don't let young children chew on the toothbrush head. It drastically shortens the life of the bristles.

4. To maximize the effectiveness of brushing, pick up your toothbrush right after a meal. It helps remove the food debris that bacteria feed on while giving teeth a dose of fluoride right when they need it most.

5. Bedtime brushing = better ZZZZs. Repeating a relaxing bedtime routine (including brushing your teeth, of course) eventually gets your body programmed to start winding down when you start the routine.

While these are all very good tips, the important thing to remember is that brushing twice daily is a necessity, not an option if you want to keep your pearly whites for a lifetime!