Many things in life experience wear and tear and need to be changed and that includes our toothbrush! Sometimes though, we may forget that it needs to be changed. After all, even after a lot of use, the toothbrush will still function as a brush. However, there are good reasons to follow the recommended intervals between changing our toothbrushes. Following them can lead to improved oral health. So, you may be asking, “how often should I change my toothbrush?”
When To Change Your Toothbrush
Official information from the American Dental Association (ADA) along with many other dentists recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. This is the same for those who use an electric toothbrush. We may not realize from day to day but our toothbrushes wear out over time. Just compare your old toothbrush to a new one and you’ll see the bristles are frayed on the old one. When the bristles wear out like this they become less effective in removing plaque from teeth and gums. Studies have shown that their effectiveness is reduced after 3 months.
Something else to think about is the hygiene of the old toothbrush. We may feel that using it every day will keep it clean, however germs like to hide in the bristles and over time they can build up. This is an important thing to consider when you have a cold. After recovering it would be a good idea to change the toothbrush to avoid re-infection.
Another danger to avoid is the buildup of bacteria and fungus. They too like to hide in the bristles of your toothbrush. By rinsing the brush thoroughly and drying it after use can help reduce the risk of bacteria and fungus building up. Also, cover the head of the toothbrush when traveling to further protect your toothbrush from picking up germs.
It’s all too easy to lose track of time and you may not remember just how old your toothbrush is. If you see a lot of fraying bristles or they are fanned out, or more importantly they’ve become discolored (darkened bristles are a sign of mold) then it may well be time to change your toothbrush.
What Happens If I Don’t Change My Toothbrush Often Enough?
As already has been said, bacteria and fungus can grow on your toothbrush. Imagine what effect that can have on your health if you put those in your mouth twice a day! Not to mention there are other types of germs and particles that can end up on your toothbrush if you store it within close proximity to your toilet. These are some very good reasons to replace your toothbrush often.
Also, as your toothbrush wears out it becomes less effective in removing plaque. This can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis can cause infections which eventually will lead to teeth falling out if left untreated.
What Toothbrush Should I Get?
Your dentist is a good person to ask for recommendations regarding dental products. Each person has specific needs and he will know yours well. Many dentists would recommend soft bristles over hard ones as the latter can damage teeth and gums. Also, it’s recommended that the head of the toothbrush is large enough to cover two teeth at one time.
Another recommendation is to use an electric toothbrush. Some studies have shown that they are more effective in removing plaque, stains, and reducing gingivitis.
Preventative measures are always better than curative. However, if you are affected by excessive tooth decay or gum disease then the surgeons at Rotary Way Oral Surgery can help with your dental surgery needs. Rotary Way Oral Surgery serves the communities in and around Vallejo, California. Their services include full mouth extractions, wisdom teeth extractions and dental implants. Book now online for your appointment.