You use your toothbrush every day, but how often do you think about what’s really important when it comes to brushing your teeth? Your teeth, gums, and tongue need a lot of attention to stave off halitosis and the risk oral infections. As an adult, you need to know when to change your toothbrush, what type to use, and what is the approach to achieving optimal oral health. Unfortunately, there’s just not a lot of accessible information out there to help you achieve your goals. Below, you’ll find 4 things you didn’t know about your toothbrush.
1. Change Your Toothbrush Every 3-4 Months
Your toothbrush is designed to keep your mouth clean, but that’s impossible to do when you’re not taking care of your toothbrush in the process. Your toothbrush isn’t a self-cleaning device. If you’re not taking care of it properly, it’s going to be riddled with frayed bristles, debris, and germs. You need your toothbrush in top-notch condition at all times to ensure it’s getting your mouth as clean as you expect. After all, you’re putting this thing in your mouth. The last thing you need is for something you’re using to clean your mouth to do the exact opposite. Knowing when to change your toothbrush will help you maintain a cleaner, whiter, healthier smile throughout the year.
The American Dental Association recommends switching to a new toothbrush every 3-4 months, or once the bristles have begun to fray. Some brands have begun to offer toothbrushes that change colors or fade when it’s time to change your toothbrush out. This is a great product to try for those who struggle to remember when they fed the dog last, let alone how long it’s been since he or she purchased their toothbrush. It’s also important to note that children need their toothbrushes changed more frequently.
2. You Need To Brush Your Tongue
If you’ve been suffering from bad breath, and had no luck in finding a cure, you need to start brushing your tongue. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria. While brushing your teeth greatly eliminates some of the bacteria, it won’t get rid of everything. Brushing your tongue will allow you to scrape out that bacteria from every nook and cranny. Tongue brushing also helps to restore pleasant-smelling breath.
Think about it. If you only wash half of a plate, it’s not likely that you’ll want to put your dinner on that plate. Why? It’s not completely clean. If you’re only brushing / cleaning part of your mouth, it too is not clean. You need to clean the entire area. Start with your teeth and end at your tongue. It’s that easy. It’s important that you clean every inch of your tongue. Make sure you brush the top and bottom of your tongue. When you’re done brushing, rinse your mouth to get rid of any debris or germs floating around. If tongue brushing flares up your gag reflex, invest in a tongue scraper. They’re not very expensive.
3. Electric vs Manual Toothbrushes – It’s A Tie
Are electric toothbrushes better than manual toothbrushes? To answer it simply, no they’re not. While electric toothbrushes are better at targeting and thoroughly cleaning each tooth, manual toothbrushes can do the same thing. The most important factor is how the person using either type of toothbrush brushes their teeth. If you’re not very good at flossing and / or brushing, you need to invest in an electric toothbrush. If you’re good at flossing and / or brushing, a manual toothbrush will suit you just fine.
The big debate is what to buy your children. Children are notorious for protesting all things related to being clean. Brushing teeth, showering, and changing clothes can become an issue in any household. If you’re unsure of what type of toothbrush to buy your child, you should consider an electric toothbrush. Not only will a cartoon themed electric toothbrush interest your child, but the vibrations from the toothbrush are sure to make the experience a lot more fun. Ultimately, you need to focus more on how to brush your teeth, rather than what to use. Which toothbrush is better boils down to your own brushing technique.
4. Your Toothbrush Is Crawling With Germs
Have you ever thought about how many germs are lurking around on your toothbrush? After months of use, you’ve probably wondered if it’s time to toss it out. More importantly, you probably thought that your toothbrush looked dirty and weathered. Your toothbrush is disgusting. Yeah, we said it. Your lean mean tooth-cleaning machine can be infected with close to 10 million different types of germs and bacteria at any given time. However, you shouldn’t toss out your toothbrush just yet.
While it may be covered in bacteria, it poses no threat to your precious teeth. The bacteria found on toothbrushes will not make you sick. Your toothpaste plays a big part in this. In fact, your toothpaste is loaded with an anti-germ component. So as long as you’re giving your toothbrush enough time to dry between uses, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Your toothpaste will kill off anything that has been left behind. The biggest thing you can do to prolong the life of your toothbrush is to leave it to dry in an upright position. As long as the moisture is gone by the next time you use it, your pearly whites will be in the clear.
Start Maintaining Better Oral Health
You need your teeth to last as long as you do. No one wants to fork out tons of money for dentures or dental implants before they’ve even hit retirement age. If you’re like most people, you want to avoid dental troubles at all costs. With the right brushing technique and a healthy approach to oral hygiene, your chances of dodging tooth decay are pretty high. You don’t have to stress out over what toothbrush or brand to buy. As long as you’re giving your mouth the attention it needs to be germ-free, you’ll be in good shape.