It's something that you use every day but may not pay much attention to. A toothbrush that is past being useful may be worse than not brushing at all. Read on for some tips on ensuring that your brush is doing the job it needs to do.
Get some professional advice. Your dentist will probably tell you to get a brush with soft bristles. Stiff bristles can be too harsh on teeth and gums. When it comes to your gums, you don't want to create tiny scratches or break the skin. That can lead to gum infections and even pockets of pus called abscesses.
Brush properly. When you appear for your usual cleaning appointment, get the hygienist to give you some pointers on correct brushing techniques. Often, the hygienist will already be aware of what needs doing better because many people inevitably miss certain areas of their teeth over and over again when they brush. For the record, the American Dental Association (ADA) says to:
- Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and use short strokes to brush across every surface of your teeth.
- Use up and down motions and brush vertically to reach outer areas.
Replace often. Many people keep using a worn-out brush for far too long. Look for these signs that it's time to toss that brush away and get a new one:
- You notice food particles are clinging to the inside of the bristles and they are not easily rinsed away. This sort of situation means one thing: bacteria are present. When you can no longer rinse your toothbrush clean after use, you are simply transferring bacteria to your brush and then back to your mouth again when you brush.
- You notice bristles coming off in your mouth when you brush.
- Your toothbrush has an odor when you take it out to use it.
- The bristles are bent and misshapen. Bristles can begin to flatten out from the center with a lot of use. This type of situation can end up injuring your gums because the bristles are impacting soft tissue instead of your teeth.
Get back-ups of toothbrushes. You don't need to spend a lot of money on a quality toothbrush so you should stock up and get several at a time. That way, you won't be tempted to use a brush that has already lived its best life and needs replacing.
For more brushing tips, speak to a dental office near you.