Your oral health is only as good as your oral health care. And your oral health care is only as good as the tools you use to take care of your mouth. One of the most basic (and yet most important) tools you have in your arsenal is the basic toothbrush. But a toothbrush is not a one-and-done purchase. In fact, your toothbrush should be replaced fairly often in order to see good results and keep your mouth healthy.
Why a good toothbrush is important
Your toothbrush is your most basic defense against buildup and plaque in your mouth. Combined with a fluoride toothpaste, it is the first step in protecting yourself from cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral healthcare concerns.
Choosing a good toothbrush
Think of the following qualities when choosing a good toothbrush:
- Bristle stiffness: A soft-bristled toothbrush is almost always the best choice for keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Your dentist should let you know if another type of brush is recommended for your specific needs.
- Manual vs. electric: This typically comes down to preference. As long as you are using proper brushing techniques and brushing twice a day, either option will clean your teeth well.
- Size: Larger brush heads may seem more efficient, but they can actually make it difficult to properly clean certain areas of the mouth. In most cases, a standard-size brush head is the way to go.
- Comfort: You want a brush that is comfortable to hold and easy to use.
Replacing your toothbrush
It’s important to replace your toothbrush regularly in order to get best results. Brushes that are too old will not effectively remove food particles, plaque, or bacteria from the mouth.
So how often should you replace your toothbrush? Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush (or brush head, if you use a toothbrush with replaceable brush heads):
- At least once every 3-4 months
- After an illness
- Whenever the bristles appear worn down or twisted, or they start to fall out
For toothbrushes that do not get used regularly (such as a travel toothbrush that is usually packed away), change at least once every 6 months.
A good toothbrush is the foundation to a healthy mouth. Choose a good brush and replace it often in order to make sure you’re giving your teeth the best care possible. For more answers to your oral health related questions, schedule a visit at Smile Concepts, Scottsdale’s top family dentistry.