Keeping Your Toothbrush (and Mouth) Free of Harmful Bacteria

dentist in TulsaWhat is harmful bacteria and where does it come from? On any given day your mouth can play host to millions of harmful bacteria … daily brushing with a fluoridated tooth paste; daily flossing; and having plaque removed with a dental visit every six months are steps taken to limit harmful bacteria.

But not all bacteria are harmful; the human body relies on certain bacteria to remain healthy. But we are discussing harmful bacteria that can build up in your mouth if you don’t practice good daily oral hygiene.

Brushing – Using a soft bristle tooth brush and a fluoridated tooth paste at least twice each day are minimal requirements to try to remove as much harmful plaque as possible. The foods we eat leave sugar and starch behind creating acid that weaken tooth enamel – brushing is needed to limit what is left behind that hardens on teeth forming plaque build-up.

Flossing – Daily flossing will help to remove food debris that the tooth brush did not reach from between teeth; flossing also stimulates blood flow in gum tissue keeping gums and teeth healthier.

Plaque removal – Your dentist or hygienist removes harmful bacteria every six months during your twice annual dental visits. That hard substance that forms on teeth between dental appointments is plaque; the build-up of plaque leads to dental decay and gum disease. You can’t remove all dental plaque on your own making regular dental visits an important part of oral health care.

Toothbrush – An electronic tooth brush is ideal for keeping teeth as clean as possible. But how and where your store your toothbrush plays a role in keeping harmful oral bacteria under control. Storing your tooth brush is an upright position in the open air is best; but if you keep it in the bathroom on the sink, you are inviting the bacteria from many sources to gain access to the instrument you hope is keeping your teeth clean!

Bacteria from flushing toilets are thrust in the air regularly; handwashing splashes more bacteria … is this where you are keeping your toothbrush? Relocating it to a dry area is recommended. A new brush or brush head are recommended every three to four months.

Anti-bacterial rinses help keep teeth clean; your dentist may recommend their use as an additional tool to control harmful bacteria and maintain great dental health.

If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning, contact Howl Dental at 918-749-1626 today.