Brush Up on Your Toothbrush Knowledge

red toothbrush against blue background

Your dental routine doesn’t stop when you leave the dentist. Your toothbrush is your best weapon to fight a multitude of diseases, staining of teeth, and even tooth loss. We spend an average of 82 days brushing our teeth over the course of our life! Knowing the ins and outs of your toothbrush will help you maintain a brilliant smile throughout your life.

Your Toothbrush is the Best Tool for Great Oral Health

The main function of a toothbrush is to reverse the wear and tear your teeth go through daily. They help battle bad breath, remove leftover food, and even promote cleaner, stronger teeth over time.

Are Your Brushing Correctly?

A toothbrush is only as good as the method you use when brushing your teeth. Picking the right toothbrush for you is only half the battle. The other half is to brush correctly in order to maximize your mouth’s health. The correct way to brush your teeth is to:

  • Use a circular motion to cover all surfaces
  • Move the toothbrush up and down inside where teeth meet each other
  • Angle your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line
  • Brush for two minutes and twice a day

Dos & Don’ts of Toothbrushes

Taking care of your toothbrush is just as important as using it to improve your oral health. There’s a lot more to your toothbrush than just using it twice a day for two minutes. That’s just the beginning of maximizing your toothbrush.

Do: Rinse Your Brush Thoroughly After Each Use

Every time you finish brushing your teeth, you should rinse out your toothbrush thoroughly with water. Making sure there are no leftover food morsels or bacteria left on your brush will ensure that it’s ready to use the next time you pick it up. By rinsing out thoroughly each time you use it, you reduce the chance of bacteria and have a clean brush to use.

Don’t: Share Your Toothbrush With Anyone Else

We’re taught as children that sharing is important, but it’s more important that you never share your toothbrush with anyone else. When you share your toothbrush, you open up yourself and someone else to a multitude of health issues. You could be exchanging bacteria or underlying diseases that could harm both you and whoever else comes in contact with your toothbrush. The best tip is to keep your toothbrush to yourself and eliminate the chance of exchanging germs.

Do: Store Upright in the Air

The recommended way to store your toothbrush is to leave it upright and in the open air to dry in between uses. If you choose to keep your toothbrush in a container and store it away, you could be opening yourself up to the chance of bacteria. A wet toothbrush becomes a breeding ground for bacteria to grow on your brush’s bristles, especially in Gainesville’s humid climate! A rule of thumb is to keep your toothbrush stored upright in the open air to reduce the risk of getting sick from your toothbrush!

Don’t: Keep Using a Frayed Toothbrush

Bristles on your toothbrush are designed to scrub your teeth while also getting rid of leftover food in hard-to-reach places. If the bristles on your brush are frayed and matted down, it won’t be doing its job. A toothbrush is only as effective as its bristles, so the first sign of frayed bristles is when you need to ditch the old toothbrush and purchase a new one.

Do: Replace After You Are Sick

While you are sick, your first priority is to get better. Once you are in the recovery stage, it’s essential that you toss your old toothbrush. This toothbrush will be harboring all those germs you had when you were sick. Continuing to use this toothbrush will make it harder for you to recover and could cause you to become sick once again.

Don’t: Buy Based On Looks Alone

When looking for a toothbrush, you shouldn’t focus your search on what the toothbrush looks like. Toothbrushes come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Don’t get caught up in the look of a toothbrush. Instead, you should focus on its capabilities and how it will work for you.

Buying the right fitting toothbrush is essential to getting those hard-to-reach places in your mouth. A smaller head will allow you to reach your back teeth and reduce your chances of developing a cavity! This is especially important for children, who are more susceptible to cavities.

More Than It Appears

Now that you know how to use your toothbrush properly, you should know which toothbrush is best for you.

Electric or Manual?

Electric toothbrushes are no better or worse than a manual one. This is a common myth. Both serve their purpose in brushing your teeth, so the choice is based on personal preference. Electric toothbrushes are a popular choice among children, elderly, and those with disabilities,

Electric toothbrushes are not all the same and they are categorized by how the head moves. Electronic toothbrushes movements include:

  • Circular
  • Side-to-side
  • Counter-oscillation
  • Rotation oscillation
  • Ultrasonic

Electronic toothbrushes still require you to move the toothbrush around your mouth. The method for manual and electronic toothbrushes is still the same.


Bristles are the heart and soul of your toothbrush. They do the dirty work and scrub away things that could lead to plaque buildup or even gum disease. The best toothbrushes have soft bristles. Bristles that are harder can cause gum abrasion and increase tooth sensitivity. They come in a variety of types including:

  • Wavy
  • Block
  • Multilevel
  • Polishing
  • Crisscross

Best for Children?

When shopping for toothbrushes for your children, it’s important to consider three things. You should buy toothbrushes that have soft bristles to reduce gum bleeding. You should also get a toothbrush with a small head for hard-to-reach places as well as big handles for a child to easily grip the toothbrush.

When to Replace Your Toothbrush

You should be replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, but as mentioned before, if your bristles start to appear worn out, you should replace sooner. Getting on a proper schedule of switching out your toothbrushes will ensure that you are using the cleanest brush possible, but also extending the useful life of your toothbrush.

The Best Dentist in Gainesville, FL

When you are away from the dentist, your toothbrush is your best tool to maintain the health of your smile. It’s important to visit the dentist at least twice a year to monitor your teeth’s health and make sure there are no underlying issues in your mouth. In Gainesville, FL, trust the dentists at Park Avenue Dental. We have a multitude of services designed to fit any patient, from children to elderly patients. To schedule an appointment, contact us today!