How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Two toothbrushes inside a glass jar, with text - California Oral and Facial Surgery, CAAll things in life are subject to wear and tear and that most definitely includes your toothbrush! You may easily forget that it needs to be changed as it deteriorates slowly over time. Even after prolonged use, the toothbrush will still function as a brush albeit a less effective one. This article considers some important reasons why you should change your toothbrush regularly and your oral health will benefit. So, let’s answer the question, “how often should I change my toothbrush?”

When To Change Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association (ADA) gives guidance that states that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. This includes those that use an electric toothbrush. You may not realize from day to day but toothbrushes wear out. When you switch your old toothbrush for a new one then you will notice the bristles are frayed on the old one. Bristles that are frayed are far less effective in removing plaque from teeth and gums.

You should also consider the hygiene of the old toothbrush. A toothbrush doesn’t keep clean just because we put toothpaste on it every day. Bacteria can hide in the bristles and the older the brush the more the bacteria. You can reduce the build-up of bacteria by running the brush under the tap for several seconds and drying it after use.  You can protect the brush head when traveling to further prevent reinfection. You should also think about changing your toothbrush after you have had a cold. If you don’t change the toothbrush you could get reinfected.

Let’s be honest though; it’s very unlikely you’ll remember just how old your toothbrush is. So if you notice that the bristles are frayed or especially if they have darkened in color (likely due to mold) then it’s time to change your toothbrush.

What Happens If I Don’t Change My Toothbrush Often Enough?

As previously highlighted, bacteria and fungus can grow on your toothbrush. Imagine what all that bacteria will do for your oral health as you put the toothbrush in your mouth twice a day! This is especially true if you store your toothbrush near the toilet. No doubt this is a good enough incentive to replace your toothbrush often.

A heavily used toothbrush also becomes ineffective in removing plaque. When plaque builds up it can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis can progress to more serious periodontal disease increasing the possibility that your teeth might fall out if left untreated. 

What Toothbrush Should I Get?

Your dentist is in the best position to recommend a toothbrush for your specific needs. Generally speaking, many dentists would suggest choosing soft bristles over hard ones as stiff bristles can harm your teeth and gums. You should also select a brush head that is big enough to cover two teeth at one time. You may also choose to use an electric toothbrush. Some feel that they are more effective in removing plaque, stains, and reducing gingivitis. 

It is highly recommended to keep on top of your dental hygiene. Neglect can often lead to excessive tooth decay or advanced gum disease. This could lead to the possibility of losing teeth. If you have lost teeth and you are looking for replacement options then the surgeons at California Oral and Facial Surgery can help with your dental surgery needs. Conveniently located in Alameda, CA, California Oral and Facial Surgery serves all in the surrounding area. Their services include dental implants. Book now online for your appointment.

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