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Taking care of your toothbrush is an essential part of your oral hygiene. Without effective tools, your toothbrush time will be–essentially–wasted, which may result in tooth decay or other problems.

A toothbrush only lasts for about 3-4 months, even if the bristles look good. Bacteria grow on toothbrushes, and after 3-4 months, it’s time to replace it. Replace it sooner if the bristles look frayed or worn. Be sure to choose a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal is given to products by the American Dental Association. It indicates that the product has passed rigorous testing for both safety and effectiveness, and guarantees a quality product. There are a number of styles and colors available, even in adult toothbrush sizes. Try an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer, or simply buy a conventional toothbrush in your favorite color. No reason for your toothbrush to be boring!

When storing your new toothbrush, be sure to leave it in open air. Closed spaces allow bacteria to breed quickly, and leave your toothbrush contaminated. If you must store it in a closed space–for example, while traveling–be sure to air it out as much as possible.

It is ideal to store your toothbrush away from other toothbrushes. If you do store it around other brushes, make sure the heads aren’t touching, as that leads to quick cross-contamination. Never use your toothbrush for anything other than brushing your own teeth. Toothbrush sharing spreads bacteria, and even disease and infection. It renders your toothbrush useless for you, and you will need to replace it.

Be sure to support your toothbrushing efforts with regular dental appointments and cleanings. This will ensure your smile stays bright and happy! If you live in the Lynnwood, Washington area, be sure to call Dr. Shur Dental at 425-741-2030. Dr. Lyudmila Shur will be happy to help keep your smile healthy and clean!