Toothbrush – use and maintenance

The toothbrush is the most commonly used object in personal dental hygiene.

Your dentist recommends brushing your teeth after every meal to remove food particles from the tooth surfaces.

Hygiene should include the following:

Proper tooth brushing is carried out at least twice a day for 3-5 minutes after a meal.

The brushes used should have soft bristles so as not to remove enamel layers or damage the gums.

Toothpaste should be chosen according to oral conditions and in the case of children toothpastes with a high fluoride concentration are recommended to prevent caries.

Also, the toothpaste grit should be reduced to avoid abrasion of tooth surfaces.

Tooth brushing should always be complemented by secondary means of hygiene such as mouthwash and flossing for long-lasting results.

Flossing is of real help in supplementing oral hygiene because 30% of the bacteria colonizing hard dental surfaces are found interdental.

However, although the toothbrush is a real help, indispensable in maintaining oral health, it can become the perfect host for bacteria and microbes, providing them with an environment that is conducive to growth and colonization.

Every time after we use our toothbrush, it remains loaded with some bacteria removed from the oral cavity.

Micro-organisms can remain alive on toothbrush bristles even for weeks, thus becoming factors that bring extra bacteria into the oral cavity during subsequent brushings.

The toothbrush must also be protected, so that it does not become a means of defence and contamination.

Among the methods of protection, we mention:

Washing very thoroughly under a strong jet of water – it is very likely that after daily brushing we do not attach much importance to brushing. However, at the end of brushing, the toothbrush should be held under a strong stream of water until all traces of toothpaste have been removed from the surface of the brush.

If the toothbrush user has low immunity due to general illness, brushing should be done using mouthwash with antibacterial properties.

At the end of brushing, the toothbrush should be properly stored. It should be kept away from possibly contaminated areas of the bathroom and stored in an airy place.

For this purpose, it is recommended to use protective caps with air holes, specially designed for toothbrushes, which are easy to apply.

In this way, the toothbrush will be protected from both micro-organisms in the environment and from the development of mold, which is characteristic of enclosed areas.

The toothbrush should be changed every 3-4 months and even earlier in the case of people with multiple cavities or an increased susceptibility to cavities. A brush whose bristles are spaced out, scattered, should be replaced but may also give an indication that the operator is applying too much pressure.

The same hygiene and maintenance rules should be followed for both manual and electric toothbrushes.

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