Now more than ever, is a good time to step up your oral hygiene game, and it all starts with a clean toothbrush. Brushing your teeth is an imperative part of your oral care routine to remove plaque and prevent periodontal disease, gingivitis and other serious oral conditions. It’s important to know how to keep your toothbrush clean, when to replace it, the proper way to brush and how often to brush your teeth. That’s why we are going to help cover some toothbrush basics (including tips for deep cleaning). As always, we want to arm you with the information you need for good oral health, overall well being and a bright smile.
How To Keep Your Toothbrush Clean
- Rinse after brushing. When you are finished brushing your tooth, you should thoroughly rinse the bristles to clean. Be sure to rinse any debris or remaining toothpaste off your toothbrush. If your toothbrush needs a deeper clean (now may be a perfect time to do this), you can boil the bristles for a few minutes or soak in mouthwash.
- Let it air-dry. Rather than placing your toothbrush head in a contained holder, be sure to let it air dry first. Storing a wet toothbrush in a container allows bacteria to grow on your toothbrush.
- Keep away from the toilet. The best way to keep your toothbrush clean is to store it in an upright position away from your toilet. When you flush your toilet, it’s best to keep the lid down to prevent germs from spreading in your bathroom.
How To Brush Your Teeth
- Start by positioning your brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Using short and gentle strokes, brush the inner and outer surfaces.
- Next, hold your brush flat and move back and forth along the chewing surfaces.
- For the inside of the teeth, tilt your brush vertically and use up and down strokes.
- Lastly, don’t forget to brush your tongue. Use a sweeping motion to help remove bacteria and food particles.
How Long to Brush
The ADA recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, unless otherwise directed by your dentist. We suggest brushing right when you wake up and right before going to bed. Most people do not brush the recommended length of time. So next time you brush your teeth, try timing yourself.
How To Pick A Toothbrush
Choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste can be overwhelming and with so many choices, it’s hard to know which one is best. Keep in mind the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends picking a soft-bristled brush, with a size and shape that fits your mouth.
How Often to Replace Your Toothbrush
Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months (four times a year). It helps to keep extra toothbrushes on hand, and to mark your calendar.
Deciding between a manual or electric toothbrush? Read about the pros and cons here.