Do you remember the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Although we don’t hesitate to throw out expired foods or restock vitamins, it’s our oral care that often falls short. However, there are important tips for maintaining optimal oral health. This includes changing out your toothbrush.
When to Change Your Toothbrush
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months. Over time, your toothbrush goes through normal wear and tear. This makes it less effective when it comes to removing plaque from your teeth and gums. Research has shown that toothbrush bristles begin to break down and lose their effectiveness around three months.
In addition, fungus and bacteria can build up in the bristles, as well as germs. To keep these harmful organisms from building up on your toothbrush, always rinse and dry it thoroughly. This needs to be done prior to storing it uncovered in an upright position. Also, keep it away from other toothbrushes to prevent the spread of germs.
If you don’t remember when you last replaced your toothbrush, it’s probably time to do so. Take notice of the condition of your brush head, including fraying of the bristles or a dark color that could indicate mold.
What If I Don’t Replace My Toothbrush Often Enough?
Aside from the accumulation of harmful organisms, old toothbrushes don’t remove plaque effectively. This can lead to gum disease (gingivitis), which can eventually cause tooth loss. Even more unappealing, it’s possible to ingest unwanted particles if you store your toothbrush near a toilet.
Considerations when Shopping for Dental Products
It’s always a good idea to ask your dentist during a routine exam for suggestions of oral care products based on your individual needs and condition of your dental health.
Common recommendations include:
- A toothbrush with soft bristles.
- A brush head size that touches one to two teeth at a time.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
- Use mouthwash to further protect against plaque, decay and gum disease.
- And never forget the floss!
In addition, consider an electric toothbrush if you have experienced some dental health problems. Electric toothbrushes can improve oral health beyond what a manual brush can. This includes removing plaque from the teeth of patients with periodontitis.
Need a dentist? We’d love to help at Comfort Care Family Dental. Contact us today to schedule a thorough exam, and don’t forget to replace your toothbrush!