Quiz: How Effective Is Your Toothbrush?

confused girl with toothbrushA good hygiene routine needs an effective toothbrush; if your toothbrush is dirty, old, or you just don’t use it as often as you should, then it probably won’t be as successful as it could be. Though most people are familiar with good hygiene practices, a reminder of proper tooth brushing techniques might help you keep your toothbrush fresh and your teeth clean and healthy. For more tips, your Polk City dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, can also give case-specific pointers for better hygiene during your next dental checkup and cleaning.

About Your Toothbrush

1.) How often should you use your toothbrush?

2.) How long should you brush your teeth each time?

3.) Should you floss after every brushing?

4.) When should you change your toothbrush?


1.) Dental plaque, the sticky film that grows on your teeth, is formed on a daily basis by the bacteria that live in your mouth. To control plaque formation, you should brush your teeth carefully at least twice every day, and after every meal, whenever possible.

2.) Even if you brush your teeth several times every day without fail, you might not be effectively cleaning them if you don’t brush thoroughly enough each time. The American Dental Association (ADA) estimates that brushing away plaque from every surface of every tooth should take at least two minutes at a time.

3.) The tight spaces between your teeth are more difficult to clean, but also less exposed to plaque buildup. You should floss your teeth at least once every day, preferably before going to bed. Also, Dr. Hussong advises flossing AFTER brushing your teeth, rather than before, to prevent the debris you remove from lingering in your mouth.

4.) After being used multiple times a day, your toothbrush will eventually become worn down and its bristles frayed, making it less able to effectively clean your teeth. Change your brush at least once every three months, or as soon as you notice that the bristles are no longer firm.


Dr. Ryan Hussong is a dedicated restorative, family, and cosmetic dentist who is passionate about helping patients create and maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. To schedule a consultation with us, call the Cornerstone Dental in Polk City office today at (515) 984-6001. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Polk City, Ankeny, Grimes, Ames, Johnston, Urbandale, and Des Moines.