It’s common knowledge that your toothbrush is the simplest tool for maintaining dental health, but people often give their toothbrushes little to no thought. It can also be challenging to choose what type of brush to use: soft or hard bristles, electric or manual. We are here to answer these common questions and encourage you to put some thought into your next toothbrush purchase.
Choosing Your Toothbrush
Choosing the right toothbrush is not about what color you like best. In fact, there are many considerations involved when you’re standing in the dental care aisle at the store, including: head size, bristle design, bristle firmness, and handle grip.
1. Different toothbrush manufacturers carry a variety of head sizes. However, the best head size will be the smallest option, as it allows you to navigate to smaller parts of your mouth that may be harder to access.
2. Bristle design is just as important as head size. We recommend a toothbrush with various bristle sizes within the bristle design, as they are helpful for cleaning gaps between teeth and other hard-to-reach areas.
3. As for bristle firmness, hard vs. soft bristles are a common debate amongst consumers. Many believe firmer bristles do a better cleaning job, but they may be damaging your teeth and gums. So instead, opt for soft bristles that perform just as well without irritating your gums or causing a contributing gum line.
4. The last factor to consider when choosing a toothbrush is the handle grip. The CDC recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day; therefore, a comfortable and secure grip should be one of your priorities when selecting a toothbrush.
Though no mouth is identical, considering these four factors will guide you to the right toothbrush for your mouth!
Replacing Your Toothbrush
Now, let us talk about how often you should be replacing your toothbrush. Unfortunately, it is easy to forget to replace your toothbrush. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and most toothbrush manufacturers recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. So, what happens if you forget to replace it? Well, the answer is simple. If you keep your toothbrush for longer than 3-4 months, the bristles become frayed and worn, ultimately becoming less effective in brushing plaque off your pearly whites.
There are special occasions in which your toothbrush may require earlier replacement. For example, if you have been traveling and stored your toothbrush in a closed container, there is a possibility that the moisture may have caused bacteria. In this case, you should replace your toothbrush upon return from the trip. Likewise, if you have recently been sick, we recommend replacing your toothbrush once you recover so that your mouth does not come in contact with old germs.