When was the last time you tossed a dirty, worn out toothbrush? As humans, we’re quick to throw out expired food, replace our old socks (or at least some of us), and restock vitamins when we run low. So, why do we go on for months with a ratty toothbrush?
When it comes to our health and beauty, most of us have an established nightly routine. With our dental hygiene? Not so much. Unfortunately, our dental hygiene is often overlooked and doesn’t receive the attention it deserves––which is why we can go months with an old toothbrush in desperate need of replacing.
Here’s how often you should replace your toothbrush, and why that matters.
When Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?
Most dentists, and the American Dental Association (ADA), recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. Studies have shown that around 3 months, toothbrushes start to lose a majority of their bristles and lose effectiveness.
Another consideration we like to turn a blind eye to is the amount of bacteria and germs our toothbrushes harbor. This is why it’s important to replace your toothbrush if you come down with a cold or the flu––to prevent possible reinfection.
Next time you brush your teeth, pay attention to the condition of your toothbrush. Are the bristles worn? Frayed? Flat? If so, you should probably put a new toothbrush on your grocery list.
What If You Don’t Replace Your Toothbrush?
If the possibility of millions of bacteria setting up camp inside of your toothbrush bristles doesn’t motivate you to replace it, there are other risks associated with using an old toothbrush. One risk includes damaging your gums, as old toothbrushes become ineffective with removing plaque from your teeth––which can lead to gingivitis.
What’s even more unappealing, is that leaving your toothbrush near an open toilet can lead to those bacteria particles getting stuck inside of your toothbrush bristles. Yuck.
What Toothbrush Should You Buy?
Next time you visit your dentist for a routine cleaning, make sure you ask him or her which toothbrush will fit your individual needs best. There are a lot to choose from, so this can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for.
A common toothbrush dentists recommend is one with soft bristles, as hard bristles can cause damage to your teeth and gums. You can also consider investing in an electric toothbrush, as these have been proven to be very effective at removing plaque and preventing gum disease. As always, we recommend talking to your dentist. They can point you in the right direction.
Have you been putting off going to the dentist, or you’re in need of a new one? We’d love to have you! Call us to book your next appointment.