How often do your kids brush their teeth? Even though they might miss a day here or there, replacing their toothbrush frequently is as important as visiting a kids’ dentists. Like any other personal hygiene device, toothbrushes should be kept clean and in good condition to improve your child’s health.
When Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?
Your Family Was Sick Recently
When the stomach flu ravages your home, the last thing you want to do is use a toothbrush that may have been used during your illness. Because you put it in your mouth and use it to whisk away food particles, sugars, and bacteria, moist toothbrushes are a haven for germs, which is why you should consider replacing them after an illness has passed through your home. Although you won’t catch the same cold or flu again because your body produces antibodies, toothbrushes commonly harbor strep, staph, and even E. coli.
The Bristles Are Visibly Bent or Damaged
Your toothbrush was designed to wipe away plaque with soft bristles—but only if they are in their normal, upright position. If it becomes worn because of aggressive brushing or overuse, the bristles might be bent or frayed, which can cause gum erosion or oral lacerations. Check your toothbrush each time you brush and replace it when you notice bristle damage.
It’s Been A Few Months
According to the American Dental Association, toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months—even if your family hasn’t been ill and the bristles look pristine. The reason for this replacement is to keep it working properly, so it can remove plaque effectively. To keep track of how old your toothbrush is, consider writing on the handle with a permanent marker the date you opened the package.
If you need a new toothbrush but you don’t know which model to choose, visit the kids’ dentist at Alaska Dentistry for Kids in Anchorage. In addition to treating pediatric patients, this state-of-the-art kids’ dentist also treats teens, adults, and individuals with special needs. Whether your child needs dental care in a fun and friendly office or you need a checkup of your own, this kids’ dentist would love the chance to help you out. For more information about their services, visit Alaska Dentistry for Kids online, or call (907) 274-2525.