couple toothbrush in glass on wooden tableBrushing your teeth at least twice a day is an important and necessary part of good dental hygiene and care. Brushing your teeth scrapes off the bacteria and plaque that can lead to cavities and the breakdown of your teeth enamel. When your tooth enamel is compromised, bacteria and plaque can penetrate the dentin and the pulp of the tooth underneath. This causes discoloration and can lead to tooth decay and infection of the tooth roots and eventually the jawbone. Brushing your teeth, is therefore, important if you want to keep your teeth and avoid possible pain, discomfort, and additional dental issues. It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes and that your teeth brushing is accompanied by flossing. While the frequency, technique and the toothpaste used in teeth brushing is important, the effectiveness of your brushing is compromised if you have an old toothbrush. When to Change Your Toothbrush and Why To the surprise of many patients, their toothbrushes need to be changed out every three months. Why so frequently? As you brush your teeth, the germs and bacteria that coat your teeth because of eating and drinking, get scraped off from the teeth onto the toothbrush. The recommended minimum twice-a-day brushing with your tooth brush quickly makes it full of germs and bacteria. The germs and bacteria that accumulate on your toothbrush don’t all disappear the next time you use your brush. This means that the germs and bacteria that were on your teeth before brushing are scrubbed back on the teeth along with the new germs and bacteria on the teeth. After three months of accumulating germs and bacteria, your toothbrush can cause more harm to your dental health than benefits. By this time, the bristles also get frayed, which decreases their effectiveness. This is when you toss your toothbrush and start fresh on a new one. You should also change your toothbrush after an illness such as strep throat, to avoid getting yourself sick again by putting the germs on the toothbrush back in your mouth. Types of Toothbrushes When you walk into the store, the variety of toothbrushes can be overwhelming. There are manual ones and electric ones. There are soft, medium and hard bristled ones. There are even toothbrushes designed specifically for kids. Which is the right toothbrush for you? Dentists recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush for starters. The stiffness of the hard-bristled brushes can scrape off some enamel along with germs and bacteria. They can also scratch up your gums, causing discomfort and bleeding. Soft brushes are best because they get the job done of scraping off the plaque and bacteria, but are gentle enough to prevent irritation and damage. Soft-bristled brushes are also good for patients who are overly vigorous in their brushing. By regularly changing out your toothbrush, you’re ensuring that your brushing is most effective at preventing cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. While daily tooth brushing and flossing are important in good oral hygiene and care, a twice a year professional teeth cleaning and exam is also necessary in ensuring that your dental health remains in optimum shape, allowing you to enjoy your natural smile for years to come. If it has been at least six months since your last professional dental cleaning, you can be putting your dental health at risk. Contact us today at Hazzouri Cosmetic, Implant & Family Dentistry to schedule a routine teeth cleaning and exam.