I’m often asked by patients “what type of toothbrush should I use”? Here at Dentist on Collins we always recommend a soft or ultra soft toothbrush. It’s kinder to your gums and your teeth. Using a soft toothbrush decreases the likelihood of abrasion to teeth and gingival recession (receding gums) from occurring. Toothbrush abrasion is the mechanical wearing down of teeth that comes from overzealous brushing either for too long or with a hard brush, usually both. Apart from the cosmetic changes that occur, toothbrush abrasion can also make your teeth very sensitive if left untreated. It can also become expensive to treat.
Soft toothbrushes and brushing
The number of people who ask for a medium or hard toothbrush is fortunately declining. Yet even after years of our free new toothbrush and toothpaste program with every hygiene visit we still seem to get a few people who ask for a hard toothbrush!
It’s not about how hard you brush, it’s about how well you brush. Remember to clean all the surfaces of your teeth and brush your tongue too. Whilst brushing your tongue may feel funny at first, so slowly build up to it. Colgate has a great article on their website called ‘How to Brush’ It has step by step instructions and answers many questions that you may have.
How often should I change my toothbrush?
You should change your toothbrush every three months. Someone once told me to change it at the beginning of each season so you won’t forget when you last change it. Whilst that is a great idea there are other times of when you should change it:
- When your toothbrush is looking a bit worn.
- When you have had a cold, toothbrushes do have bacteria on them and you don’t want to continually reinfect yourself with your toothbrush.
- After an extraction, dental implant or any other type of oral surgery. Once again you don’t want to introduce any bacteria lurking on your toothbrush to the extraction site.
Apart from giving you a free toothbrush after every hygiene visit, we will also give you one after oral surgery. So when we do, please don’t keep it for when you go away, but go home and throw out your old toothbrush and use the one we have just given you.
One last thing!
One last thing, it is surprising how many people keep their toothbrush in the open in their bathroom and flush their toilet with the lid up. Flushing a toilet creates an aerosol of faecal bacteria that settles on anything in the bathroom. The purpose of the lid on the toilet is to contain the aerosol within the bowl.