This two-part article series explores a host of surprising facts you probably didn't know about your toothbrush and its importance to the maintenance of smile health.
You use it everyday and probably seldom think twice about it, but there is a whole lot to owning, maintaining and using a toothbrush than Sun City residents might think! Because it is something we do everyday and hopefully more than once a day, habits that are developed tend to become entrenched and what we thought might be good or beneficial, could in fact be damaging or deleterious to good oral health. We spoke to an experienced dental implants dentist in Arizona about this most essential of oral hygiene activities and the following surprising facts were revealed...
1. You should brush your teeth for two minutes at a time.
“Most people spend less than one minute brushing their teeth per day,” says the Sun City dentist. “You should brush your teeth for two minutes at a time and do so at least twice a day, morning and night. A quick scrub is not going to remove sufficient oral bacteria and food debris to prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth. This could leave you far more vulnerable to cavities, tooth decay and the oral ailment that ultimately leads to tooth loss: gum disease.”
2. Those special toothbrush storage caps actually foster an environment conducive to bacterial growth.
Many big brand names in oral health and hygiene sell toothbrush caps, which are designed to close over the head of the toothbrush, supposedly keeping it safe from bacteria. However, they in effect, achieve the opposite!
“Your toothbrush should be stored in a place where it has the chance to dry between uses, such as a closed, yet aired bathroom cupboard,” advises the Sun City dentist. “Storing it in a toothbrush cap is akin to leaving it on the sink in a puddle of water. Bacteria love warm, moist environments, so by not allowing your toothbrush to dry, it becomes an excellent breeding ground for the kind of organisms that can actually make you sick.”
3. Never store your toothbrush within 6 feet of a flushing toilet.
You may not see it with your own two eyes, but every time you flush the toilet, it sends an ultra-fine spray of water up into the air. And since the water in your toilet is anything but squeaky clean, everything within a 6-foot radius of the toilet can be vulnerable to contamination.
“If your bathroom is very small and if you don’t have anywhere safe to store your toothbrush, then just make sure to close the toilet lid every time you flush. This will help keep your bathroom free of biofilm, which can contain nasty pathogens,” explains the dental implants dentist in Arizona.
4. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles become frayed.
With use, the ends of your toothbrush bristles become dulled and the bristles themselves can become frayed. This really affects the cleaning ability of your toothbrush, which is why Sun City dentists recommend that you replace it every three or four months. Frayed bristles are hopelessly ineffective at removing plaque and food debris from the crowns and at the gum line, so you won’t be getting the clean you need to maintain good oral hygiene and fresh breath.
Stay Tuned for Part 2
Stay tuned for the second installment of this two-part article series in which an experienced Sun City dentist gives us advice on the best and worst tooth-brushing habits.