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Dr. Sam Richey of Lighthouse Dental and Orthodontic in Riverton, Utah wants to know if your toothbrush needs a tuneup. Take a good look at the bristles. Are the bristles worn, flattened, or starting to droop? If so, then it is time for a new toothbrush. You and your toothbrush should not be in a long-term relationship. If your toothbrush has been in your life for three months, it is time to move on and get a new one. Children, who tend to brush with a little more energy and vigor than adults should get a new toothbrush more frequently.

Cleaning your toothbrush is not complicated. You simply need to rise the bristles until all of the debris has been removed. Microwaving or boiling your toothbrush, or running it through the dishwasher to sterilize it can damage the bristles. If you choose to soak it an antiseptic solution, you should remove it after 15 minutes.

After rinsing it, you should store it upright and in a place where the air can thoroughly dry it. Store it away from the other toothbrushes in your household to prevent cross-contamination of bacteria. If you, or someone in your home becomes sick, that person should get a new toothbrush after recovery. You might even consider buying disposable toothbrushes to use when someone is ill. That will prevent the spread of a virus or other illness.

Flossing is extremely important to remove the food particles and plaque that have accumulated between your teeth. You may use waxed or unwaxed, although waxed floss works better for people who have braces or other dental work since it will slide between your teeth easier than unwaxed varieties. You should start with 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around your two middle fingers. Give yourself about two inches of floss and curve the floss around each tooth, flossing in an upward motion away from your gumline. It doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first, so long as you do a thorough job of both.

Even if you are very diligent about brushing and flossing, and you take excellent care of your toothbrush, a solid oral hygiene regimen is still not a replacement for regular visits to your dentist. When you see Dr. Richey for your routine checkup, he will clean the plaque and tartar from your teeth and examine your teeth and mouth for cavities, gum disease, and other problems. If it is time for your regular appointment, or if you are looking for a dentist for yourself and your family, call Lighthouse Dental and Orthodontic in Riverton, Utah at 801-446-6310 for an appointment today.