Routine is a part of life. Whether you love it or hate it, there are inevitably routines that we fall into. Most of them are good for us, and we build them on purpose, like brushing our teeth twice a day. Twice daily brushing is—like flossing—a vital part of good dental hygiene, but it means that our toothbrushes get a lot of use. When should we be replacing that toothbrush? It’s easy to know when to throw out expired milk or medications (thanks to the handy expiration date), but there isn’t one on most toothbrushes. So when is the right time for a new toothbrush?
How Often Should I Replace It?
You should replace your toothbrush at least every three months, though more frequently if it seems to be wearing out. This recommendation by the American Dental Association is confirmed by most dentists and based on testing that shows that the bristles start to breakdown after about three months of use. Once the bristles break down, they won’t be as effective at removing plaque and debris from teeth and the gum line. There is a common scenario that should make you replace your toothbrush sooner, however. If you get sick, your toothbrush could actually harbor those germs and become an avenue for reinfection. Whenever you get sick, you should always trash your old toothbrush and start fresh.
What Is the Risk of Not Replacing?
The biggest issue with not changing your toothbrush enough is that an ineffective toothbrush isn’t cleaning your teeth and gums like it should and could lead to major dental issues. Older toothbrushes often also hide mold, bacteria, and fungus, which is super gross. Make sure that you’re taking care of your toothbrush (rinsing it thoroughly and letting it dry upright) and keeping it away from the toilet spray so that it can help you stay healthy instead of making you sick.
How Do I Choose the Right Brush?
Your best bet is to ask your dentist for recommendations, but there are also some good basic tips. Choose a soft bristle brush, as harder bristles can actually cause damage. Your toothbrush head should be large enough to cover a whole tooth and maybe two, but not so large that it makes brushing uncomfortable. Finally, consider that an electronic toothbrush might actually be a great investment for you, since they more effective at removing plaque and debris.
You Can Trust Olney Dental for All of Your Dental Care Needs
For all of your oral care questions and concerns, Olney Dental has the expertise and professionalism to get them the answers they need. Olney Dental is ready to supply you with expert service in a professional environment. Schedule an appointment online today! For more information on how we can give your family the best dentist experience available, give us a call at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online. For more dental tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.