Aside from the two standard pieces of advice that dentists give their patients — brushing and flossing consistently — there are other measures people can take to safeguard the health and integrity of their teeth. These include using antiseptic mouthwash; when to brush and at what frequency; and the options regarding wisdom teeth. Also among the professional guidance are reminders to change the toothbrush in use. We will explore why and how often, and what the dangers are from using the same brush for an extended period of time. Toothbar in downtown Austin speaks to this issue from experience and authority.
Of course, you look at a brush and realize that its composition is not complicated. That said, they are not just slapped together either. Their design reflects careful study about how best to reach the farthest corners of the mouth, Once the shape is final, manufacturers mold plastic to that template and with molding in which to embed plastic pellets that help heat the brush for correct molding. Then the nylon bristles are inserted into pre-drilled holes and receive a trim to the proper length. American Dental Association-approved toothbrushes are trustworthy instruments.
Most often synthesized as a fiber, nylon consists of amides, or carboxamides, and thermoplastics, i.e. soft polymers made flexible through heating. Toothbrush bristles are nylon fibers. Nylon fabrics can warp as well as absorb moisture from the air. That fact comes from the nylon industry. As with nylon stockings, moisture tends to age the fiber more rapidly. It stands to reason that bristles, when saturated in water, would eventually lose their flexibility. Beyond reason, fact bears this out. Ask any frequent fishing enthusiasts how often they replace lines for their rods.
The bristles on your brush spend a good deal of time in water. Wetting the brush and rinsing it multiple times daily take a toll on them. The results: they get warped and brittle. This means they become less effective in removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria. In addition, older brushes eventually start hoarding bacteria and become less hygienic overall. There is still another bristle danger. Over time, soft bristles can grow hard when exposed to hard water. This, of course, subsequent contact can do damage to the enamel of the tooth or teeth. Hence, older brushes stop serving their purpose.
The consensus among dentists is to change brushes every three to four months to avoid some of the complications stated above. That is not the end of it, however. Getting a new brush after an illness is also a good idea. A strong rule of thumb is to periodically examine the brush for matting, fraying, or other disfigurement in the bristles.
Are you looking for a general or cosmetic dentist near you? Check us out. Toothbar in downtown Austin is staffed with professional dentists and hygienists for additional guidance. Contact us.
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