How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?
When it comes to keeping your teeth clean and healthy, choosing the right toothbrush is one of the most important decisions in oral care.
Yet, many people will use the same toothbrush for several months, long after it is really useful—despite the fact that once the toothbrush bristles have become bent, you no longer can aim the bristles properly at the back areas of the teeth.
With the average brushing taking 2 to 10 minutes each time, however, the useful life of a toothbrush is usually less than a month. It is therefore advisable to buy several toothbrushes for each member of the family to store. This way, you can throw away any toothbrush that becomes worn out and not have to hang on to it just because you forgot to include it in your shopping list.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Toothbrush
There are several factors you should consider when choosing a toothbrush, but the main ones are:
- The head of the toothbrush should be small, so that you can maneuver it easily in different angles.
- Choose toothbrushes with nylon rather than natural bristle. Toothbrushes with nylon bristles are cheaper, last longer, dry out faster, and do not become as soft as those toothbrushes with natural bristles.
- Do not choose toothbrushes labeled soft unless the toothbrushes are for young children or you have been instructed to do so by a dentist. The toothbrush bristles need to be rigid to dislodge plaque. Hard bristles will be better for you.
Follow the three rules and choose the cheapest toothbrush you can find, but buy plenty of them.
How to Choose a Toothpaste
Now that you have chosen a toothbrush, the next thing you need is to choose toothpaste. Firstly, choose one with fluoride. This is because fluoride has a significant decay-reducing effect: up to as much as 30 percent.
It is also important to introduce your children to toothpaste as early as possible, so that you can minimize the chances of your children having decayed teeth. For the adults, brushing your teeth with good toothpaste and fluoride toothpaste will reduce secondary decay around fillings as well as root decay.
Good toothpaste will make your mouth feel fresh after you have brushed.
How beneficial are antiseptic mouthwashes?
There are no shortcuts to the good brushing of teeth. Among many people, there is a belief that antiseptic mouthwashes are a good substitute for the toothbrush and toothpaste. This is not true, as most mouthwashes have little effect beyond giving your mouth a fresh feeling.
Mouthwashes with chlorhexidine are worth a try, however, as it is partially effective against plaque bacteria. But rather than using chlorhexidine mouthwashes on a daily basis, just use it once a week and clean your teeth using a toothbrush and toothpaste for the rest of the days.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.