When to Replace your Toothbrush
Many adults use their toothbrush every morning without giving it much thought. You brush your teeth every day to maintain good oral hygiene and remove plaque, but have you ever taken the time to consider whether or not your toothbrush is in good condition?
According to the American Dental Association, studies have shown that potentially harmful microorganisms can grow on the toothbrush after repeated use. Additionally, worn out toothbrushes are much less effective in removing plaque and bacteria from the mouth. For these reasons, it is important to know when to replace your toothbrush.
3 Reasons to Replace your Toothbrush
After 3 to 4 months
After a few months, a toothbrush can begin to lose its cleaning capability. At this point, the gradual buildup of bacteria on the toothbrush inhibits its effectiveness and exposes your mouth to this bacteria with every brushing. To avoid this, you should wait no longer than 3 to 4 months before replacing your toothbrush.
Visible signs of wear
Even though it is recommended to replace a toothbrush after 3 to 4 months, patients with more vigorous brushing habits should consider getting a replacement sooner. For example, a patient who brushes his or her teeth 2-3 times a day will have to replace their toothbrush sooner than a patient who only brushes once a day.
After constant use, a toothbrush will wear out, and you should look out for signs of wear and tear. Frayed and missing bristles are both common indicators of a worn out toothbrush and will make it difficult to effectively clean your teeth. Discolored bristles are also present in a worn out toothbrush, which means that the toothbrush may contain bacteria.
After recovering from a cold
In addition to the many ways a cold can harm your oral health, being sick can also result in a contaminated toothbrush. When you are sick, there are more bacteria in your mouth. Sick patients should consider brushing their teeth more frequently to cleanse the mouth of the excess bacteria. Unfortunately, these bacteria may remain on your toothbrush and make you sick again if you use the same toothbrush after recovering. Once you start feeling better, be sure to replace your toothbrush to prevent exposure to this bacteria.