3 Surprising Ways Your Toothbrush Can Affect the Brightness of Your Smile

Teeth whitening is an easy way to make you and your smile look younger. Although your teeth get stained and darken over time, regularly brushing them will help remove surface stains and prevent a buildup of discoloration. But does your toothbrush matter?

1. Lifespan of a Toothbrush

Photo of a yellow toothbrush with toothpaste being applied to it; for information on free teeth whitening in Plano, TX

The lifespan of a toothbrush is three to four months. If you haven’t switched your toothbrush in a year, your brushing might be in vain. And the brush won’t make your teeth any whiter. Scattered, worn bristles aren’t doing the job. Settle the issue by keeping a few toothbrushes on hand so you can switch to a new one when the current one is worn. Can’t remember to switch to a new brush? Make a note in your calendar—hardcopy, phone, tablet, or iPad.

2. Hard or Soft?

Is a hard toothbrush more effective at removing surface stains from your teeth? That might seem logical, but below are a few facts:

  • Hard and medium bristles can promote gum recession.
  • Exposed tooth roots from gums that recede will make your teeth more sensitive to heat and cold.
  • A soft-bristled brush with long, angled bristles can easily clean between each tooth. It will be effective without harming your gum tissue.

3. Manual or Electric?

The American Dental Association reports that manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective. Does this mean that your loved one needs no longer needs to gift you with an electric brush? An electric toothbrush has several advantages.

  • If you have dexterity issues, lack the motivation to brush properly, or don’t brush long enough, an electric toothbrush can help. Many electric brushes have a two-minute timer.
  • Just hold the brush and move it along the front and back of each tooth.
  • Don’t brush aggressively. Let the toothbrush do the work.

It’s all about you

Often, the brightness of your smile is related to the effort you put into maintaining good oral health. Brush your teeth twice daily. If you want a bright smile—even if you received professional teeth whitening—there is no substitute for brushing your teeth. Floss between your teeth to remove food debris that can lead to a buildup of plaque and discoloration.

In some cases medication or medical issues can change tooth color. A cosmetic dentist can help improve your smile.

If you’re doing all you can keep your teeth clean, but some stains remain, ask your dentist if professional teeth whitening is right for you. It can break down stains beneath the enamel and will give your teeth the sparkle you want.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Miranda Lacy of Plano, TX. She provides free teeth whitening to patients who keep their dental cleaning and exam appointments.