Toothbrush Basics

toothbrushes1Your toothbrush is an important instrument. It not only keeps your teeth clean and helps maintain your oral health, but it is instrumental in maintaining your overall health too. If you don’t use the right toothbrush or you don’t use your toothbrush properly, you are not effectively warding off periodontal disease which has been linked to other systemic diseases. Today, your northwest Indiana dentist, Dr. Nicholas Cain, discusses toothbrush basics.

Seal of Approval

The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs consists of independent scientific experts who evaluate commercial dental products including toothbrushes. Choose a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure it was objectively evaluated for safety and effectiveness.  To earn the ADA Seal of Approval, the manufacturer must provide scientific evidence proving that all the product components are safe for use in the mouth, and that the product effectively decreases gum-disease causing plaque. ADA guidelines include:

  • Manufacturer-tested handle durability
  • Bristles free of sharp or jagged edges and endpoints
  • Bristles that won’t fall out under normal conditions
  • Safe use with no need for supervision

Powered Toothbrushes

The guidelines for powered toothbrushes are more stringent and include:

  • Meeting safety requirements from a respected laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
  • Manufacturer evidence proving the product is safe for use on hard oral tissue, dental restorations, and soft oral tissue.
  • Manufacturer s evidence must be from at least on clinical human volunteer research study.

Proper Toothbrush Care

Once you’ve chosen an ADA approved toothbrush that:

  • Is the correct size and shape to fit comfortably in your mouth
  • Feels comfortable in your hand
  • Allows you to reach all areas of your mouth easily

Take care of your toothbrush:

  • After brushing, clean any remaining toothpaste and debris by thoroughly rinsing with warm water
  • Store upright and allow to air-dry
  • Keep toothbrushes apart to prevent cross contamination
  • Do not store toothbrushes in closed containers or keep them covered. It is okay for short periods of time during travel. However, moist environments encourage growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or sooner if bristles are frayed or worn.


As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, cosmetic, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your next dental appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.