10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Toothbrush

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Toothbrush

by Holly (SU)

Your beloved toothbrush – it’s the one thing you always remember to pack when going on a trip. But besides the fact that it cleans your teeth, how much do you really know about this essential hygienic tool?

Here are 10 interesting and helpful things you may not know about your toothbrush:

·       Toothbrushes predate the Roman Empire. Although the nylon-bristled toothbrush used today was invented 80 years ago, a much cruder version made of a twig with a frayed end was used in circa 3,000 B.C. to remove food particles from teeth. Over the millennia, toothbrushes were made with bone, ivory, and wood handles with stiff bristles derived from hogs and boars. 

·       Always look for the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Approval when selecting a toothbrush. This means the toothbrush has been evaluated to make sure it meets quality standards – such as a strong handle, bristles that won’t fall out with normal use, and that the design will help reduce your risk of developing cavities and gum disease. 

·       Size matters. The head of your toothbrush should be able to reach your farthest teeth (usually molars). Depending on your needs, that could mean a toothbrush with a diamond-shaped head or the conventional rectangular shape. Brushes for adults should have a head length of about 25 mm; for children under 12, about 15-22 mm.

·       It doesn’t really matter whether the toothbrush is manual or electric. True, an electric toothbrush gets in more revolutions than you would using a standard toothbrush by hand. But as long as you brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, you can thoroughly clean your teeth just as well. Simply choose whichever type of toothbrush is most comfortable for you.

·       You can brush before or after you floss. It makes no difference, just as long as you do both.

·       Cleaning your brush is easier than you think. Simply rinse away any remaining toothpaste or debris. Then store your toothbrush upright and allow it to dry before you use it again. Do not cover the head of the toothbrush or store your toothbrush in a closed container, as a moist environment is a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, keep your toothbrush separate from other brushes to avoid cross-contamination.

·       Dispose of your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Bacteria lingers in the bristles after you’ve had a virus or a cold sore, so be sure to replace your toothbrush so the virus or infection doesn’t return. 

·       They have a short lifespan. Regardless of your health, you should replace your toothbrush at least every four months, as the bristles tend to get worn.

·       Softer is better. Whereas hard bristles can irritate your gums, softer bristles will effectively clean your teeth without harming your gums or enamel as long as you brush properly twice a day.

·       A toothbrush isn’t just for your teeth. Tongue cleaning is just as important for good oral hygiene. You can use the bristles of your toothbrush to do the scrubbing or get yourself a toothbrush that has a tongue cleaner built in.

Skilled Dentist in Eugene, OR

If you’re not sure whether you’re using the right toothbrush, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist about the best model for you. The experts at 360 Dental are here to help you maintain good oral hygiene and improve your smile.

Call 360 Dental at 541-689-1645 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Binder today, or fill out our quick online appointment request form so we can get started. We look forward to serving you and helping you keep your smile bright and healthy.