Throughout our lives, we spend about a total of 80 days brushing our teeth. This twice-daily habit is the key to maintaining a happy and healthy mouth, so these are 80 days of your life that are well spent. However, not everyone knows how important it is to have the right tools for the job.
At Dental & Aesthetics of Pittsburgh, we take the time to ensure that our patients are equipped with the tools, skills, and knowledge necessary for protecting their oral health. That’s why the best dentist in Pittsburgh is here to share 10 toothbrush tips for keeping your mouth healthy. From choosing the right toothbrush to dos and don’ts, we’re here to keep you in the loop with everything you need to know about your toothbrush.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
The Best Dentist in Pittsburgh Recommends Soft Bristles & a Small Head
After a while, we all become accustomed to the toothbrush we use, but this doesn’t mean it’s the best toothbrush for your oral health. The best dentist in Pittsburgh recommends keeping these three things in mind when choosing the right toothbrush:
- Opt for Soft Bristles: nearly all dentists urge you to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles because they are gentle on your teeth and gums. Firm bristles can wear at your tooth enamel and gums, causing damage.
- Choose a Toothbrush with a Small Head: every mouth is different, which is why there is a wide variety of head sizes for toothbrushes. However, it’s better to lean on the small side so that your toothbrush can reach smaller places in your mouth like your back-most molars.
- Choose a Comfortable Grip: While the handle and grip of your toothbrush don’t necessarily equate to cleaner teeth, it’s important to have a brush that is easy to hold and maneuver so you can brush as effectively as possible.
What is my toothbrush telling me about oral habits?
The Appearance of Your Toothbrush Can Tell You About Your Habits
You don’t have to wait every six months for feedback on your oral health habits from your dentist — you get feedback on your oral habits from your toothbrush! According to the best dentist in Pittsburgh, there are a number of tell-tale signs on your toothbrush that can inform you about how you’re doing:
- Frayed bristles can indicate two different things. First, frayed bristles tell you that a toothbrush is at the end of its lifespan—typically every three months. Second, if your toothbrush becomes frayed sooner than this, it’s an indication that you’re brushing too hard. Once frayed, your toothbrush is not as effective, so it should be switched out as soon as possible.
- If your bristles change colors, it’s time to switch your toothbrush. We don’t just mean this in an icky bacteria kind of way. Some toothbrushes have built-in color indicators on the bristles that inform you of when it’s time to switch your brush. If this is the case, brightly colored bristles will fade to white or clear.
- If your toothbrush is still wet for your next use, it’s not being stored properly. If you’re a morning and nighttime brusher (which you should be), it’s important to note whether or not your toothbrush is drying throughout the day. If your brush stays wet, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Store your brush in a place with plenty of airflow — and if it’s still wet, hunt down the rascal who is borrowing your toothbrush!
Toothbrush Dos and Don’ts from the Best Dentist in Pittsburgh
Tips for the Best Oral Health Care Experience
While nearly everyone has a toothbrush, not everyone knows how to pick a good one, care for their toothbrush, and how to develop practices that help you effectively manage your oral health. The best dentist in Pittsburgh can help you develop these practices over time, but here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Don’t use a travel cover unless you’re traveling. While it may seem logical to keep germs off your toothbrush, tip #6 tells us that this is actually rather counterintuitive. When you are traveling, make sure your toothbrush is completely dry before putting it back in the travel case.
- Do replace your toothbrush after being sick. It’s best to keep these bacteria out of your mouth once you start to feel better, so be sure to replace your toothbrush after a cold or sickness.
- Don’t be afraid to try an electric toothbrush. These toothbrushes are great for individuals with low mobility, are better at removing plaque, and often have built-in timers for effective brushing.
- Do choose a brand name for your toothbrush. While generic choices are great for many things, bargain toothbrushes are not as effective or safe as toothbrushes from reputable brands.