Your toothbrush is your ally in the fight against bacteria in your mouth. But toothbrushes aren’t meant to last forever. How long can expect your toothbrush head to last? Fortunately, the answer is made pretty easy as long as you know what to look for!
When considering how often you should change your toothbrush head starts with understanding the signs it needs replacing, and why you should be replacing it at all!
Read on to learn more about keeping your oral health on track by making sure your key tool is ready to do its job!
What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Toothbrush?
If you don’t replace your toothbrush, the bristles will become frayed and won’t be as effective at cleaning your teeth. Plaque and bacteria can build up on a brush with frayed bristles, which can lead to gum disease. It’s important to change your toothbrush often to maintain good oral health.
What Are the Signs That Mean Your Toothbrush Needs Replacing?
Your toothbrush needs replacing when the bristles start to fray and wear down. This usually happens after about three months of use. At this point, the bristles are no longer effective at cleaning your teeth and may even start to cause damage.
A worn looking toothbrush is the most important sign of a toothbrush that needs replaced. Because it’s so important, most manufacturers of toothbrushes add special identifiers to the bristles that you can see, which are usually colored differently from the white bristles. As you use the toothbrush, the colorful bristles should start to fade. You can use this, along with the state of how frayed the bristles are, to get a good idea that it’s time to swap brushes.
Are There Other Reasons to Replace Your Toothbrush?
Absolutely! Some of the other potential reasons you might need to replace your toothbrush are:
Following an Illness – When you’re sick, your body may have an abundance of unique germs. While your immune system will do a good job at fighting off the germs that made you sick in the first place, it’s worth avoiding them when you can. Your toothbrush is a likely place for those germs to end up, so it can be worthwhile to replace the brush after you start feeling better to give your immune system a break.
Exposure to Foreign Bacteria – Your toothbrush will be exposed to bacteria every time you use it. But the bacteria that’s common in your mouth isn’t the same as bacteria around you, or in other people’s mouths. If your toothbrush is dropped on the floor, or touches someone else’s bristles, it may be a good idea to replace it to avoid cross-contamination and introducing new bacteria to your system that your body will need to learn to fight off.
What If It’s Been Three Months but My Toothbrush Looks Fine?
It’s possible that after a few months your toothbrush may not look quite ready to replace. However, this would likely be a sign that sometimes isn’t quite right with your oral care routine.
Brushing properly is more specific than simply brushing the bristles against your teeth. You should be:
- Brushing twice per day (in the morning and before bed)
- Brushing with enough force to thoroughly clear your teeth and gums
- Brushing every surface of your mouth, including the inside of your teeth
When you follow these steps, it’s unlikely that your toothbrush will last more than about three months. If your toothbrushes seem to last a long time before looking worn, evaluate your brushing habits to make sure you’re doing it right!
How To Take Care of Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes are designed to clean your teeth, but they can also be a breeding ground for germs. One reason is because they are often stored in bathrooms, which are typically humid environments. This can cause the bristles on the brush to become moist, which provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. In addition, toothbrushes can become contaminated with saliva, which also contains bacteria. If you don’t clean your toothbrush regularly, these bacteria can build up and cause infections.
To keep your toothbrush clean and free of plaque, follow these steps:
Rinse Your Toothbrush with Water Before and After Each Use.
Rising your toothbrush removes much of the bacteria and plaque that may be on the bristles. Be sure to also rinse off any toothpaste that may be on the brush so it doesn’t remain.
Store Your Toothbrush in A Closed Container Or Cover When Traveling
Toothbrushes should be stored in a closed container or covered to keep them clean and free of germs when on the road. This also helps to prevent the bristles from becoming frayed or damaged. Over the months, this cover will go a long way in keeping it protected from damage.
When you’re at home, you should absolutely not use a cover outside of extremely unique circumstances. Bristles on your toothbrush need flowing air to help dry them between uses. Being inside a cover traps the moisture inside and actually makes it easier for bacteria to grow!
Contact Walbridge Dental
Do you have toothache pain? We can help! The professionals at Walbridge Dental provide complete family dental care to families in the Millbury community. Contact us online to set up an appointment now or call us at 419-836-1033.
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