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Toothbrush TLC

September 2014

We spend so much time making sure our mouths are taken care of that we sometimes forget to care for our toothbrushes! Every toothbrush deserves a little TLC for all the work it does keeping our mouths clean and healthy. We all know that brushing your teeth keeps your mouth clean, but it's just as important to keep our toothbrushes clean, too.

Father and son brushing teeth Keeping your toothbrush clean is essential to keeping your mouth clean. Of course we love our toothbrushes, but we can't get too attached to them because it's important to switch them out every three months and after every sickness. After three months, toothbrushes become worn out and are no longer effective in cleaning teeth completely. Each sickness brings a whole new colony of bacteria and germs to hang out on your toothbrush. You definitely don't want to clean your teeth with that! Storing your toothbrush properly is vital to keeping it away from bacteria and germs. Bacteria grows in dark, wet places, so try to find a new place for your toothbrush besides your bathroom cabinet or drawer, and be sure not to keep it near any other toothbrush or anywhere close to the toilet. Keeping your toothbrush dry and clean between uses is very important. Make sure to rinse your toothbrush with tap water after each use and allow it to dry completely with the bristles facing up. It's best to place it in a cup or rack to allow it to dry out properly. It needs room to breathe!

Choosing the right toothbrush for your mouth can be difficult if you don't know what you're looking for or what you want. It is usually best to use a soft bristled toothbrush, because medium and hard bristled toothbrushes can actually damage your gums and the enamel on your teeth. Whether you prefer handheld, sonic or electric toothbrushes, the most important thing to keep in mind is that it's your technique - not the toothbrush - that matters most in keeping your teeth the cleanest. The best technique for brushing your teeth is to place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle pointing toward your gums and brush in a circular motion. This will massage your gums, which stimulates blood flow and will clean your teeth by rubbing away any bacteria that has accumulated since your last cleaning. Still not sure how to choose the best toothbrush for you? Look for brushes that have earned the American Dental Association's (ADA) seal of approval to help narrow down your choices or consult with your dentist to see which toothbrush is best for you.

The State of Texas Dental Discount PlanSM administered by Careington is designed to help you give your mouth the TLC that it needs at discounted rates. It can help you save on dental cleanings, X-rays, braces, dentures, crowns, root canals and more. Making your oral care a priority has never been easier. So if you are a State of Texas Dental Discount Plan participant, use our provider search tool to find a network dentist near you, schedule your appointment, and get the dental care you need at a discounted price!