Dental Hygiene: What You Need to Know | Snohomish Dentist

October is National Dental Hygiene Month – and while we should always try to keep our smiles healthy and bright, this month is a great time to focus on your dental hygiene routines. There may be habits you have that aren’t exactly the best for your dental health.

How often are you brushing your teeth?

It is no secret that you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and for at least two minutes – in the morning to start the day with fresh clean breath, and before bedtime to prevent any remaining cavity-causing bacteria from settling in your mouth while you sleep. If you happen to have a toothbrush handy, brushing between meals is always a great idea as well.

What do you brush your teeth with?

It can be a bit overwhelming task, trying to choose the right toothbrush for your smile. After all, there is generally an entire aisle at the store dedicated to toothbrushes. How does one even begin to choose? It is a good idea to choose a soft-bristled one, so that it is gentle on your gums. Hard-bristled versions can wear at your gums, slowly causing future periodontal issues.

Is flossing important?

One of the more neglected dental tasks has to be flossing. But in actuality, flossing plays a very important part in our dental routines. Not only does it get stuff stuck deep between each tooth, but it also keeps your gums healthy by preventing bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.

If you are seeking help to improve your saliva production, call Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit

Dr. Haines proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Where Should I Keep My Toothbrush?

ToothbrushYour toothbrush is your best weapon against tooth decay and gingivitis, so it only makes sense that you’d want to keep it clean at all times. Doing so can go a long way in helping keep germs and contaminants away from your toothbrush, and eventually, your mouth.

Ensure Enough Airflow

A simple toothbrush holder should be enough to keep a toothbrush safe and clean. However, make sure that you use a toothbrush holder that allows the brushes enough open air to dry well. A closed container will only make your brushes take more time to dry, encouraging bacterial growth as they tend to grow faster in damp conditions.

For an even better solution, you can use a medicine cabinet. This way, you can close the cabinet and ensure that there’s enough airflow for the toothbrushes to dry quickly. Though, be sure keep the amount of bacteria and microbes inside at a minimum by cleaning the cabinet frequently.

Keep It Away from The Toilet and Sink

The toilet and sink are two of the worst places where you can put your toothbrush in. Even a few feet away from either of the two is just a way to invite germs to your toothbrush. The former is a bad idea because the toilet can create an aerosol effect where the particles of germs travel through the air after each flush, and those germs could travel to your toothbrush. The latter is also not a good idea as soap and dirty water from hand washing may splash onto the toothbrush.

Again, a medicine cabinet comes to mind as a safe and clean place to store your toothbrush. Or, if you’re short on space, consider using a wall-mounted toothbrush holder that’s placed a few feet above the sink to prevent splashing, and a meter or so away from the toilet.

Do Not Share

Never ever share a toothbrush with anyone you know, no matter how close you are. For families, it’s important that each member has their own toothbrush, each with its own unique style and color. This is to prevent the accidental swapping of the toothbrush and passing of bacteria.

Also, make sure that your toothbrush does not touch others while inside the container to prevent the spread of bacteria from the other brush to yours.

Keep The Storage Containers Clean

Wherever you choose to place your toothbrush, what’s important is that you keep it clean at all times. Doing so can help prevent the build-up of dust, germs, bacteria and all other contaminants that may transfer over to your toothbrush.

Depending on the container you choose, you can simply wipe them down every day or every other day, or you can throw them into the washer to have them washed.

In addition to keeping your toothbrush and its storage container clean, be sure to change your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months to ensure it is doing a proper job. Also, be sure to always follow a daily oral hygiene routine that should include brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash.

You shouldn’t forget to visit the dentist every six months as well, for oral exams and professional cleanings. Contact Ted Haines, DDS today for an appointment at 360-568-8577 or through the website at