A toothbrush is a handheld tool used to clean teeth. While people sometimes use the term "toothbrush" to refer to any type of tooth-cleaning tool, a true toothbrush has bristles mounted on its head. Bristles are stiff, cone-shaped fibers designed to clean between the teeth and along the gum line.
Your toothbrush cleans your mouth and teeth, but how does it do this? Plaque, the sticky substance that forms on your teeth every day, is made up of bacteria, food, and saliva. The bacteria causes cavities, and the food causes bad breath. The saliva in your mouth is needed to wash away food and keep the mouth moist.
Brushing your teeth removes plaque, which is why it is so important to brush at least twice a day. Your toothbrush removes plaque by cleaning the teeth and gums.
It's smart to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. After this time, your toothbrush won't be able to clean your teeth as effectively as it did when you first bought it. It's also important to remember your toothbrush isn't invincible. If it's broken, frayed, or looks worn out, it's time to replace it.
The American Dental Association says you should change your toothbrush every three to four months or whenever the bristles become frayed, whichever comes first. While you're at it, toss the toothbrush after you've been sick. The bacteria in your mouth can multiply faster when you're sick. Your dentist in Oakland, CA, can help you choose the right toothbrush for your teeth.
You should store your toothbrush upright and allow it to air dry. This prevents the growth of mold and bacteria. If you store your toothbrush in a closed container, make sure it's dry. If your toothbrush is stored damp, mold and bacteria can develop on the bristles. This, in turn, can cause your toothbrush to smell.
You should also rinse your toothbrush after you use it before storing it. This prevents the buildup of plaque and bacteria on the bristles.
Our dentist in Oakland suggests using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a soft head that will gently remove plaque from your teeth. The head of the toothbrush should be small enough to reach all areas of your mouth, including your back teeth.
The bristles should be rounded at the tip of the brush, as this will not damage your tooth enamel.
To learn more about best practices for oral health, call Bay Area Dental at (510) 350-8187 or visit our dental office at 3300 Webster Street, #907, Oakland, CA 94609. Book your appointment with our dentist in Oakland, CA, to achieve the smile you have always wished for.