You rely on it every day to get your day started and as one of the ways to prepare you for bed. We’re referring to your toothbrush, an important tool that you depend on to protect your oral health, but is there a limit on how long you can use it? Your dentist in Dublin weighs in to discuss how you can contribute to your oral health by knowing when to toss your toothbrush.
Why is the Toothbrush Important to Your Oral Health?
The toothbrush is important because it agitates and removes debris from your teeth and along the gumline. By rotating it properly as you move across your teeth, using softer bristles, you can safely clean your teeth while avoiding damage to your enamel.
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush at least twice a day for two minutes to thoroughly clean your teeth. But is it possible to follow these guidelines and still be hindering your oral health?
When It’s Time to Toss Your Toothbrush
Using your toothbrush for too long can become as hazardous to your oral health as not brushing at all. That’s because bacteria accumulate over time and get trapped in the bristles. Thus, a basic rule of thumb is that you should replace your toothbrush every 60 to 90 days to prevent excess bacteria growth.
If you get sick, though, you should immediately replace your toothbrush to avoid re-infecting yourself.
Are Harder Bristles More Effective?
When you purchase your new toothbrush, you may consider getting one that has harder bristles in an attempt to clean your teeth as best as possible. Two problems can arise from this strategy, though:
- Damaged Enamel – Your tooth enamel is unique in that it’s the hardest material in your body, yet it is still very sensitive. Thus, abrasives and harsh materials can wear it down over time, which can lead to big problems since it can’t be regenerated. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to choose one of the softer toothbrush options.
- Irritated Gums – Another risk of using harder-bristled toothbrushes is that they can irritate your gums. This can also happen from brushing too aggressively. The remedy, again, is to use a softer brush and to use careful technique.
Armed with your new toothbrush and more knowledge about how to use it properly, you can be sure to enjoy enhanced oral health. To learn more about how you can protect your teeth and gums reach out to your dentist today!
About the Author
A passionate dentist, Dr. Jason Buck strives to educate his patients, so they can feel empowered when they leave his office. A graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, where he earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, he takes a methodical approach to providing care for his patients at Distinctive Smiles of Dublin. Dr. Buck can be reached for more information through his website.