Your Trusty Friend the Toothbrush

Toothbrush. These little bristly dudes or dudettes wield great power when you think of what they do for your dental hygiene. People take them for granted. But you do so at your own peril and the peril of your mouth.

Because we’re all about our patients having the best teeth in Nashua, at Kalil & Kress we’re going to give you a little class in Toothbrushology.

Take care of your bristly friend

brushThe easiest thing about toothbrush health is to let it dry fully between uses. This is an important deal because toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for germs, fungus, and bacteria. In a continually damp toothbrush, these little meanies build up to levels that you don’t even want to know. Letting your toothbrush dry out, kills most of those germs. When you’re finished brushing, let tap water run through the bristles, then store the toothbrush in an upright position so that the air can dry it out.

And while we’re all for getting along, the toothbrush of you and your partner don’t need to be on a first name basis. This is because cold and flu viruses can jump easily from the bristles of one brush to another, if they are touching. Leave the romance to Valentine’s Day, not your toothbrushes.

How often to change your toothbrush

You’ve been to someone’s house who has truly abused their toothbrush, and you see the results hanging there in the bathroom. The poor toothbrush looks like an armadillo on the road outside Amarillo. Flattened. That kind of overuse of a toothbrush is a bad idea. The team at Kalil & Kress advises that you change your toothbrush every three months. Studies have shown that after three months of normal use, toothbrushes are no longer nearly as effective at removing plaque. The bristles bend and break down, losing their effectiveness when getting into the tough spots.

And if you’re just getting over a cold, the flu, or a mouth infection you should change your toothbrush because the germs can lurk down in the bristles leading to reinfection.

How long should I brush?

If you’re a cursory brusher (you know who you are), this next bit of toothbrush advice can seem like an eternity. You should brush your teeth for two full minutes twice each day. To the speed brushers, anything over a minute feels like watching C-Span reruns. But two minutes is the goal. If you want to make it easier, think just 30 seconds for each quarter. If you want to fill out that time, make sure to brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth, the pockets down along your upper gums.

Have more questions about basic oral hygiene? Ask your pals at Kalil & Kress anything you want. Call us at 603-880-7004 and ask away, or schedule your next checkup.

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