Along with seeing a dentist for regular checkups, a good oral hygiene routine at home is the foundation of your dental health. The cleaner you keep your teeth and gums, the fewer problems you’ll have and the less dental work you’ll need. And though it may seem inconsequential, the quality of your toothbrush can be essential to achieving that goal. In this blog, you’ll find out what to look for in a toothbrush and how often to replace it. With these guidelines, you’ll remove more plaque and keep your smile in better shape overall. Learn more below!
What Kind of Toothbrush Does a Dentist Recommend?
Although each person has unique needs, the following guidelines apply to most people:
- Soft bristles are ideal because they’re not only effective but also less likely to damage the gums than hard bristles.
- A smaller head is also helpful because it’s easier to maneuver into tight spaces. Adults with particularly small mouths may even benefit from using a child’s toothbrush.
- While it’s certainly possible to do well with a manual toothbrush, electric models are generally more effective. They automatically stay on for the recommended 2 minutes and provide 6,000 – 30,000 brush strokes per minute, depending on the model. They can benefit everyone, but are especially helpful for teenagers who have “braces” or older adults with dexterity issues caused by arthritis. They’re also available at every price point.
How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?
Toothbrush bristles get worn out fairly quickly, at which point they’re less effective at removing plaque, bacteria, and food. A good rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. If your bristles become frayed before that point, go ahead and get a new one (however, keep in mind that this may be a sign of using too much pressure, so try to “lighten up” as much as possible to prevent damaging your gums).
And since your technique is also important, don’t hesitate to ask a dentist or dental hygienist for a demonstration at your next checkup. In some cases, a small tweak in how you angle your bristles or hold your brush can make a big difference.
Keeping your teeth clean is crucial for maintaining a healthy smile, and the tools you use are important. By choosing the right toothbrush and replacing it every 3 to 4 months, you’ll get the most out of your oral hygiene routine each day.
About the Author
Dr. Darren Koch is a family dentist with nearly 20 years of experience who focuses on prevention first and treatment second. He knows that good brushing habits minimize cavities, gum disease, and other problems, so he always provides tips to help his patients be more effective with their homecare. If you’d like to know more about oral hygiene products or have any questions, he can be reached via his website.