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It’s the start of a new year, and that is a great time to replace your toothbrush! Toothbrushes should only be kept for 3-4 months. They should be replaced sooner if the bristles appear worn out, frayed, or damaged in any way. Ask your dentist for toothbrush recommendations for you.

When using your new toothbrush, brush gently. Brushing harshly can damage tooth enamel, gum tissue, or your toothbrush itself. Place your toothbrush at a 45* angle to the gums and use short, back-and-forth strokes to polish your teeth. This method–combined with proper flossing or other appropriate interdental cleaning–should remove plaque and debris from teeth, reducing risks of cavities and other dental emergencies. Be sure to clean the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

When you are done using your toothbrush, rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining toothpaste, food particles, bacteria, or other foreign substances from your toothbrush. Store upright in an open-air area. Storing your toothbrush flat or in a closed space can greatly increase bacterial growth rates and can lead to a contaminated brush.

For more information, call Sun Valley Dental Group PLLC in Ketchum, Idaho, at 208-726-4711. Dr. Brian Galbraith and our team are happy to help you keep your smile healthy and strong!