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You can brush all you want, but if your toothbrush isn’t taken care of, your teeth won’t get clean! Here are a few fixes to common mistakes people make. It’s never too late to improve!

First off–never, ever use someone else’s toothbrush. This will spread bacteria and potentially disease or infection. This can be very damaging to your oral health. Never use your toothbrush for anything other than brushing your own teeth.

Secondly, make sure you are storing your toothbrush upright, and in an open space. Storing it in a closed-off area will allow germs to grow and bacteria to spread quickly. If you must store it in a closed space, say for travel purposes, do so for only a short period of time.

Third, try to store your toothbrush away from other toothbrushes. If you must store it around other toothbrushes, make sure the heads don’t touch. This will cross-contaminate the toothbrushes, leading to the spread of germs and bacteria.

Fourth, you should know that the average life of a toothbrush is only 3-4 months! That means you should get a new toothbrush (or electric toothbrush head) every season of the year. Take this opportunity to treat yourself! Look for toothbrushes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. You’ll be surprised at how many fun colors and styles are available.

Finally, be sure to find and use a toothbrush with soft bristles, as hard bristles can damage and wear away tooth enamel. When you are using your new toothbrush, be aware that most people brush too hard. Brushing harder does not remove more plaque or food particles, and can damage your enamel and gums–and your toothbrush.

For more information on simple health habits for a happy smile, contact Wassif Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at 410-687-1162. Dr.Cindy Wassif and our team will be happy to help your smile.