You and Your Toothbrush

Q: Is there anything special I should know about toothbrushes?

A: Your toothbrush is your first line of defense in your effort to keep your mouth clean and healthy. It’s one of the first things you reach for in the morning and one of the last things you use at night. Combined with faithful flossing, brushing your teeth regularly will keep your smile bright and sturdy.

Here are some facts to keep in mind: The American Dental Association recommends that you get a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. If the bristles get frayed, though, you should replace the brush right away. Frayed bristles can injure gums and don’t clean as effectively. A plethora of toothbrushes are on the market, both powered and manual. Some offer a particular benefit if you have an issue with your manual dexterity. There is very little difference in the results from a powered or manual toothbrush as long as the brushing process is thorough. Studies show that in addition to making sure that you brush all surfaces of your teeth, it should take two minutes to completely debride all of these surfaces. Set yourself a timer to help make sure you are doing this correctly.

Whichever your choice, look for the ADA seal of acceptance on the package. The seal means the organization has established the product’s claims to safety and effectiveness. Ask Dr. Chips or our dental hygienist about the type of toothbrush that is right for you and get some tips on technique.

Presented as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC.

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