Your toothbrush may look perfectly fine to the naked eye, but the truth is, after a period of time, there are a lot of reasons you need to change out your brush. Read on to find out why you need to replace your brush and when you need to do it.
Even if your brush seems to look and work OK, after 3 or 4 months, the fibers start to wear down and and harbor bacteria. They also do a much less effective job at removing plaque from your teeth. An old toothbrush is still better than no brush, but not by too much. Remember, overall health is closely associated with dental health, so it’s worth making your toothbrush care and replacement a priority.
When You Should Replace Your Toothbrush
The average lifespan of a toothbrush, given you’re brushing the recommended twice daily, is 3 or 4 months. However, if you tend to brush more vigorously (or if you have children who do, as is common), it may need to be replaced sooner. When in doubt, take a glance at the bristles. Are they frayed or splaying instead of smooth and standing straight up? If so, it’s time to get a new one.
Keep in mind that you may also want to replace your toothbrush if you’ve recently been sick, since the associated bacteria and viruses could potentially reinfect you.
It’s a good idea to stock up on a few toothbrushes for each member of your house. This way, you’ll always be prepared should illness or vigorous brushing strike!
How to Care For Your Toothbrush
Caring for your toothbrush properly can help it last longer. Use these tips:
- It’s best to store brushes so they’re not touching; this way they don’t spread bacteria and viruses.
- It’s also best to store them in open air rather than in a case, which also helps reduce the ability of germs to spread. (The exception is when you’re traveling, in which case using a toothbrush case can help protect the bristles.)
- Similarly, you’ll want to let it to dry out between uses to prevent the build-up and growth of bacteria, viruses and fungus.
Dental Care by Dr. Steve Irwin DDS
With more than 30 years of dentistry, Dr. Irwin has the knowledge and experience to help you achieve the best dental health. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 816-347-9933.