We all know how important it is to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing daily can prevent cavities, gum diseases, and ward off bad breath. So, when was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Unfortunately, many of us forget to do this simple task regularly. Neglecting to throw out your old toothbrush not only makes your dental health routine less effective, but also poses other risks. Are you ready to learn about all of the toothbrush facts you need to know?
Why Should I Replace A Toothbrush?
Worn-out toothbrushes are not good for your mouth. For starters, brushing with old, worn-down bristles can be rough on your gums. While newer brushes are generally soft and supple, matted and frayed bristles are more abrasive. These damaged bristles can inflame gums, making them more susceptible to bacteria. Because of this fact, neglected toothbrushes can easily lead to gum diseases such as gingivitis.
In addition to being rough on your gums, using an outdated toothbrush does no favors for your teeth. New brushes are carefully engineered to provide comprehensive dental care. Once they wear down, though, the tool does not clear plaque and debris from your enamel as effectively. This means that the time you spend brushing does less for your teeth than you might think. Over time, the resulting buildup of plaque on your teeth can lead to sensitivity and cavities.
How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. If you see your brush visually wearing out before 3-4 months have passed since your last change, consider making a swap sooner rather than later. This means that you should regularly check your toothbrush for signs of fraying, matting, or bristle discoloration. If you have an electric toothbrush, the ADA still recommends that you replace the head every 3-4 months.
Be sure to grab a new toothbrush if you have recently been sick. This tip is especially important if you store your toothbrush near others. The germs and bacteria that made you ill can easily be transferred from your toothbrush to someone else’s.
What Should I Look For In A New Toothbrush?
Most toothbrushes that you can purchase online or at a local grocery store will be approved by the American Dental Association. There is more to look at, though, than merely the ADA’s seal of approval. For most people, a brush with soft bristles is better than one with stiff bristles. As we discussed earlier, a harsh brush could damage your gums and teeth.
Selecting a product with a tongue scraper strip on the back can also be a great idea to remove lingering bacteria from your mouth. Consider purchasing a pack of toothbrushes so that you are prepared the next time you need a fresh one. To optimize your oral hygiene, pick up a good mouthwash and dental floss to use regularly.
Changing your toothbrush can save you time and costly dental repairs in the future. We recommend that you follow the ADA’s guidelines of changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. In the event that you notice your bristles wearing out before 3-4 months, update your brush sooner.
As always, please contact us at Midway Family Dentistry if you have questions about your dental health or if you’re ready to schedule your next appointment.