4 Things You May Not Know About Your Toothbrush

dental CharlottesvilleA toothbrush is a person’s best weapon against the development of common dental diseases. Brushing our teeth is a twice-daily occurrence but many people have misconceptions about how to choose a toothbrush, how to keep it “sanitary”, and last but not least – how to use it properly.

Empowering yourself with accurate information will help you make wise health decisions. Following are four things about toothbrushes you might not know.

What to Buy

The toothbrush that ends up in your shopping cart should have the American Dental Association’s seal of approval. To earn this seal, toothbrush manufacturers must adhere to strict standards set forth by the association.

In addition to earning the ADA’s seal of approval, it is best to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Toothbrushes marked as “medium” or “hard” can affect the health of tooth enamel – especially if a person tends to brush vigorously.

How To Store It

Do you leave your toothbrush laying horizontally near your sink? Doing this can increase the amount of bacteria that live on your toothbrush. It’s best to store your toothbrush upright so that its bristles can dry out between uses.

Know the 2-Minute Rule

If you brush your teeth for less than two minutes, you’re not cleaning your mouth thoroughly. It takes about two minutes (on average) to clean all the surfaces of your teeth, your tongue, your gums, and the roof of your mouth.

For those who have difficulty keeping track of time, a person can set a cooking timer or an alert on his or her phone for two minutes. Or most electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer to help keep you on track.

When to Say Goodbye

A toothbrush isn’t meant to last forever. In fact, we should go through four toothbrushes (or four brush heads for electric toothbrushes) each year. Tossing out and replacing your toothbrush will help prevent you from using one that’s bristles are worn or have accumulated bacteria and debris.