Proper Toothbrush Care

You probably already know that brushing your teeth twice a day is very important to keep your teeth and gums healthy. However, brushing won’t be very effective if your toothbrush is not in good shape. Dr. Young can make sure your toothbrush care and brushing habits are protecting your smile. Let’s see how much you know about taking care of your toothbrush.

1. How often should you replace your toothbrush?

a. Every two weeks
b. Once a year
c. Every three months

2. How should you store your toothbrush?

a. Upright and uncovered
b. With a cap or cover
c. Laying down by the sink

3. How far away from the toilet should you store your toothbrush?

a. Three feet
b. Six feet
c. Six inches

4. Which of the following will damage your toothbrush?

a. Brushing too hard
b. Soaking brush in a disinfectant
c. Abrasive toothpaste

5. True or False? It’s okay to use another family member’s toothbrush.

How to Take Care of Your Toothbrush:

  1. C. Dr. Young and The American Dental Association recommend replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed. When your brush wears out, it won’t be as effective in cleaning your teeth. Replacing your brush every three months, or after a cold or oral infection, will also help prevent bacterial buildup and re-infection.
  2. A. Bacteria thrive in moist, enclosed environments, so it’s important to let your brush completely dry before the next use. You should let your toothbrush air-dry in an open, upright position.
  3. B. When you flush your toilet, particles can spray out. As they float through the air, they may touch your brush bristles. This means that the next time you brush, you are putting those bacteria into your mouth. Keeping your toothbrush at least six feet away should provide enough distance to prevent airborne contamination.
  4. A. Brushing your teeth too vigorously puts a lot of pressure on your toothbrush bristles and causes them to fray out sooner. Frayed bristles become very rough and can damage your teeth and gums.
  5. False. You should never share a toothbrush with anyone to avoid transferring oral bacteria. In addition, when storing more than one toothbrush in the same area, keep them a safe distance apart to prevent cross-contamination.

While proper toothbrush care and everyday brushing at home will help keep your teeth clean, you still need to visit Dr. Young every six months for a professional dental cleaning. If you need help with dental hygiene, call (337) 237-6453 to schedule an appointment with our family dentist office in Lafayette.