Not Changing the Toothbrush Often Enough
Many people have heard folks claim, almost boastfully, that they can’t remember the last time they changed their toothbrush. This is not only gross but unhygienic, especially for a person who wears braces. Even a person who wears Invisalign, where the trays can be removed for oral hygiene, need to change their toothbrushes regularly.
The fact is that whenever a person brushes their teeth the toothbrush picks up all sorts of bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. Some of these are able to live on the bristles for weeks, and even if they don’t normally cause illness they can lead to infection if they enter a lesion in the mouth. Ideally, a person should change their toothbrush every day, but that’s just not practical for most people. Instead, our orthodontist recommends that:
- The toothbrush is rinsed thoroughly to get rid of as many bugs as possible. Some people even pop their toothbrush in their dishwasher, soak it in mouthwash or use special sanitizers made for toothbrushes.
- After use, the toothbrush should be stored upright in a toothbrush holder or cup where air can circulate around the head, and dry it out. Drying out the bristles will kill at least some of the microorganisms.
- Toothbrushes should not be shared or borrowed, not even with a loved one. Pathogens can be passed back and forth.
Toothbrushes should be tossed after the person has had an illness or when the bristles begin to fray. This is true of manual and electric toothbrushes. Frayed bristles can’t clean gums or teeth well. Some toothbrushes have bristles that change color over time, which is supposed to let the user know to buy a new one.
People with braces have to be very careful to brush around the brackets and wires on the teeth, and this might cause them to fray more quickly than people who don’t wear braces or who wear Invisalign.
Contact Us to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment
If you live in Minnesota, then you can have an expert examination from a knowledgeable orthodontist at McDermott Orthodontics. Dr. Michael McDermott offers appointments at several facilities, including:
• Baxter – 218-829-1630
• Brainerd – 218-829-1630
• Pequot Lakes – 218-568-5600
• Delano – 763-972-4444
Dr. McDermott has been caring for adults, teenagers and children for 15 years, making sure to provide customized orthodontic devices that include:
• Invisalign – clear plastic aligners for teenagers and adults
• Braces – ceramic, metal and Damon
• Retainers – worn after orthodontic treatment ends
For patients who want to reduce their treatment time, we recommend using the AcceleDent Aura system at home for 20 minutes each night. Schedule an appointment today.
Tooth Brushing Mistake No.8: “Not Following Up With a Rinse”
708 Elm Ave. E.
Dr. Mike McDermott is an orthodontic specialist in Brainerd, Baxter and Delano MN.