No matter which type of toothbrush you use, you’re supposed to replace your toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
There are two styles of toothbrushes to consider: manual and electric. Each type of toothbrush has its advantages and disadvantages.
Manual vs. electric toothbrush
The manual toothbrush can be taken easily anywhere is portable and doesn’t require anything to be used immediately. It isn’t noisy and allows you to control the pressure you apply on your teeth and gums.
An electric toothbrush requires electricity and isn’t as handy as a manual toothbrush when traveling. However, the rotating bristles allow for more efficient cleaning between your teeth and at the gum line. Many electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors to notify you of the time you brush and the pressure you apply.
How to look after a toothbrush
Keeping a toothbrush clean is key. After every use the toothbrush should be rinsed under tap water to remove all traces of toothpaste and saliva. The toothbrush should be stored in an upright position, with the bristles positioned so they can air dry. Keeping a toothbrush in a sealed container can cause bacteria to grow, so it’s best to let the bristles of the toothbrush fully dry between each usage. And try to avoid placing your toothbrush next to the toilet or sink for obvious hygienic reasons.
If you’re brushing twice a day, to help avoid tooth decay, your toothbrush will be worn and torn quickly. Some of the wear you may see, other types you may not. For instance, there can be microscopic fraying on the very ends of the bristles that come into contact with your teeth. However, if you can see that the bristles are getting bent, worn, or frayed then it’s about time to get a change your toothbrush.
Consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes. When in doubt, look at the bristles. If they are frayed, they won’t clean teeth as thoroughly. Children’s toothbrushes may need to be replaced more often due to more intense usage such as chewing. And don’t encourage sharing toothbrushes – keep your bacteria to yourself.
The ideal tooth cleaning routine
By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that you and your family develop a healthy tooth cleaning routine :
– Ideally, brush for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste in the morning and before sleeping
– Floss between your teeth every day – ideally before going to bed
– Try to reduce eating snacks throughout the day
– Visit your dentist or hygienist half a year for an oral check-up and professional cleaning.
If you have braces, please follow our Angel Orthodontics guidelines on brushing your teeth here.