We talk a lot about the importance of brushing and flossing daily. It’s essential for you and your kids to get into a good routine of brushing thoroughly to remove plaque and bacteria that get stuck in your teeth. But what good is brushing daily, if your toothbrush isn’t clean, or isn’t in good shape anymore?
The tools that you use to brush your teeth are just as important as simply remembering to brush. If your toothbrush is covered in bacteria or frayed to the point of no return, then it isn’t doing much good for your teeth. You’ll want to get into the habit taking care of your toothbrush, especially since your kids are literally always watching you and following your example.
Choose a good toothbrush
The first step in taking care of your toothbrush is to pick a good one to start off with! When it comes to picking out the perfect toothbrush, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To a certain extent. Your kids will probably want the most fun and colorful toothbrush that they can get their hands on, but it’s important to use one that is good quality. Most dentists encourage choosing a soft-bristled toothbrush, to prevent the damaging effects of brushing too hard. If you can find a superhero toothbrush that fits this description, then go for it!
Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean
Don’t Share It
This is one of those few circumstances when sharing is NOT caring. Do not share your toothbrush with anyone else! It’s essential that everyone in your family has their own toothbrush, and that you don’t share it with anyone. Besides being gross and weird, sharing a toothbrush puts you at an increased risk of infections.
Before brushing, rinse your toothbrush to remove debris that may have gotten stuck to your toothbrush while it was sitting out. After brushing, rinse it again to get all of the toothpaste and food particles off of the brush. After rinsing, give your toothbrush some time to air dry until you need to use it again.
Store It In A Safe Spot
After you’re done brushing your teeth for at least two minutes in the morning, you’ll want to store it in a safe spot until you brush again in the evening. And by that, we don’t just mean keeping your toothbrush a safe distance away from the toilet. You’ll want to keep your toothbrush in an upright position, and not covered up or in a closed container. Keeping your toothbrush in a dry spot will prevent the growth of bacteria and harmful microorganisms.
When To Replace
Have you been using the same toothbrush for the last 20 years? Okay – it’s time to cut the cord and get you a new one. The general rule of thumb is that you should replace your toothbrushes every 3-4 months. This is especially true if the bristles on your toothbrush become worn down or frayed because that will not be effective in cleaning your teeth. At the very least, you should be replacing the toothbrush (or just the toothbrush head, if you are using an electric toothbrush) at least 3 times a year.
When it comes to taking care of your teeth, brushing twice a day will only work if you have the right tools. Making the right choice when deciding on a toothbrush, and taking extra care to clean and replace it every few months will go a long way to keep your mouth healthy.
Here at Epic Dentistry for Kids, our team is committed to helping you and your child develop good habits when it comes to their oral health. For more information on helping your kids take care of their teeth, visit our pediatric dentistry in Aurora.