You may have been told otherwise, but your toothbrush will not last as long as you do. Even though most modern toothbrushes are made of very durable materials, they are like anything else that gets used on a daily basis — the more you use them, the more they break down.
Current technology has come as close as possible to perfecting the tried-and-true basic toothbrush, but it still needs some daily care in order to maximize effectiveness throughout its lifespan. In today’s blog, Charlotte Progressive Dentistry would like to offer you some advice that will ensure your toothbrush does the best job it can while it is in your hands and your mouth.
The Basics Of The Toothbrush
These days, a standard toothbrush is composed of two types of material: plastic and nylon. The toothbrush handle, usually made from a single piece of plastic, is created from polypropylene and polyethylene, two petroleum-based chemicals. The bristles are made from nylon, a plastic polymer that is also used in thousands of other everyday objects. Some toothbrushes may also include a bit of rubber in the handle for an improved grip. Compared to the way we used to make toothbrushes (boar’s hair and wood just won’t cut it in today’s market), the modern version is much more rugged.
However, basic toothbrushes are not made to last forever — at most, even with the greatest attention to care on your behalf, your toothbrush will only work effectively for around three to four months. After that, the nylon bristles start to fray at the edges and the plastic handle starts to lose some of its original stiffness.
Keeping your toothbrush past four months means it will start to rapidly become less useful. You might think it’s still doing an excellent job on your teeth, but you’re much better off just throwing that old toothbrush away and buying a brand-new one. It can seem like a waste of money to throw something away after just a few months, but keep in mind that the older your toothbrush is, the more prone it is to gathering unhealthy bacteria.
It is very important to keep your toothbrush in good working condition — it is an essential part in helping prevent gum disease, plaque, and tooth decay. It also helps your breath stay fresh throughout the day and keeps your teeth nice and white white. It’s definitely worth taking good care of!
How To Make Your Toothbrush Last
It really doesn’t take much effort to take good care of your toothbrush. Here are some basic tips:
- Rinse off your toothbrush with tap water after you’re finished brushing with it.
- After use, dry off your toothbrush with a lint-free cloth and store it upright. This will expose it to the air and kill off any bacteria that might happen to remain on the bristles.
- If you’re concerned about bacteria forming on the head, you can occasionally clean it in the dishwasher or use a commercial toothbrush sanitizer to deep-clean it.
- Make sure it’s nice and dry before you store it away for a trip; mold can grow on the bristles if they aren’t exposed to air on a regular basis.
Here are some things you’ll want to avoid doing with a toothbrush:
- Don’t share it with anyone else! Not only is this a bit of a weird thing to do, it’s unsanitary and can transfer bacteria and hasten tooth decay in your mouth.
- Do not routinely store your toothbrush in a container or a cabinet after use. It needs to be exposed to air in order to kill bacteria.
- Don’t store your toothbrush too close to the toilet. Toilets may have a seat cover, but that doesn’t stop bacteria from spreading every time they flush.
Follow the steps above and you can ensure your toothbrush does its best on your teeth until you are finally ready to replace it.
Need More Information? Contact Your Dentist
If you have any questions regarding toothbrushes and how they impact your oral and physical health, contact your dentist. The experts at Charlotte Progressive Dentistry, your local family dental care specialists, would be glad to hear from you if you need consultation in tooth care. In addition to advice you can trust, Charlotte Progressive Dentistry is staffed by experienced dentists and oral surgeons, so they can handle anything from minor dental work to cosmetic dentistry, root canal therapy, and dental implants.