There’s no doubt brushing and flossing every day is essential to oral health. But even if you maintain a solid at-home hygiene regimen between dentist visits, you may be at risk of problems if you’re using an old toothbrush. Here’s a guide to understanding how often to switch out your brush and why it’s essential to do so.
How Often Should You Change Toothbrushes?
A few factors can contribute to determining how often to change your brush. Generally, you’ll want to swap it out as soon as the bristles are visibly frayed, or about every three months. If you use an electric toothbrush, follow the same guidelines for determining when to change the head.
You may need to change your brush more frequently if you use it more than twice a day or if you have braces, as the brackets can damage brush fibers. For kids, change their brush whenever its bristles are frayed or drooping. Children’s brush bristles are softer, which may cause them to wear out more quickly.
You should also change your brush or brush head after getting over an illness, like the cold or flu, a throat or mouth infection, or a cold sore. Getting a new brush will prevent you from re-contaminating yourself.
Why Should You Change Your Brush?
Weak or damaged bristles are not as effective at cleaning. If food particles are left on your teeth, your likelihood of issues, such as plaque, decay, and gingivitis, increases. Also, research indicates brushes can host more than 100 million bacteria. These can include E. coli and staphylococci, particularly if the brush is stored within three feet of a toilet.
Most of these bacteria aren’t harmful in minuscule doses. However, more of them will accumulate with time. Investing in a new brush every few months helps your mouth stay healthy and clean. In addition to using a quality toothbrush, you’ll want to visit your dentist every six months for an exam and teeth cleaning to keep your smile bright and healthy.
If you live in the Northwoods area of Oneida County, WI, turn to Timber Drive Dental. This general and restorative dentistry practice, located in Rhinelander, provides a range of services from cleanings and checkups to crowns, dentures, and cosmetic dentistry. Call (715) 365-1800 to speak with a friendly staff member to schedule an appointment. Or, visit the website to learn more about how they can help you maintain a beautiful grin.