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You can brush all you want, but if your toothbrush isn’t cared for, your teeth won’t get clean! Here are four tips to combat common mistakes people make.

Cross-Contamination and Bacterial Growth: Store your toothbrush in a well-ventilated area. Closed spaces encourage bacteria growth. Store your toothbrush away from other toothbrushes. If you must store more than one toothbrush in the same area, make sure the heads don’t touch. Heads touching allows for cross-contamination of the toothbrushes.

No Sharing: Never, EVER use someone else’s toothbrush. This spreads bacteria and potentially disease or infection, and can be very damaging to your oral health. If someone else has used your toothbrush, throw it away and get a new one.

Replace Often: A toothbrush only lasts 3-4 months! This means you can get a new toothbrush every season of the year! If you are using an electric toothbrush, remember to replace the head within a similar timeframe. Look for a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal is granted to products that pass rigorous testing and have proven safe and effective. Be sure to find and use a toothbrush with soft bristles, as hard bristles can damage and wear away tooth enamel.

Soft Touch: Many people brush too hard. Brushing harder does not remove more plaque or food particles, and can damage your enamel and gums–and your toothbrush. Use gentle pressure!

For more information on simple health habits for a happy smile, contact Slidell Family Dental Care at 985-643-4553. And if you are in the Slidell, Louisiana area, be sure to contact our office for a dental exam! Dr.Kent Stasney and our team will be happy to help your smile reach its full potential.