The importance of good dental hygiene is drilled into us from an early age. A majority of people will observe brushing their teeth at least once a day. But a good number is not very observant of the state of the toothbrush. This is simply doing the correct job with the wrong tool. A worn out toothbrush will do an imperfect job of getting to the food particles that need to be cleaned off. Using a worn out or incorrect toothbrush over a long time can be damaging to your teeth as disease-causing bacteria continue to lurk in those hiding space undisturbed.
Some toothbrushes come with color changing sections or strips. These sections will change color as the brush ages, and act as reminders that you need to change the toothbrush. In the absence of indicators like these, you have to rely on keeping track of time.
The rule of the thumb has been that you replace a toothbrush every 3 months. The origin of this loose rule is not very well known, though it could be that toothbrushes were made to last, and uncommon long time ago. Today’s toothbrushes come in a wide variety of designs and styles. Toothbrushes are also cheap and can be replaced even before 3 months elapse.
Fortunately, a toothbrush that needs replacing will give visible signs. The bristles will become unaligned, and bent. Some will become unplugged. Some toothbrushes with flexible plastic handles will have seen the plastic handle too bent as not to fit in the hand properly. Clearly, you should change a toothbrush that has gotten to that level of physical wear and tear.
When you get sick
A typical toothbrush will harbor millions of bacteria unless you are in a habit of sterilizing it after use. But the average person will rinse the toothbrush under running water, and leave it until next time. Running water is not antiseptic, and will leave behind many bacteria.
If you suffer a common cold or any other ailment that involves the mouth e.g. Tuberculosis, you should change your toothbrush regularly. This is to eliminate the re-introduction of bacteria into your body through the mouth.
Does it apply to electric toothbrushes too? Yes, it does. There is no difference between a manual and electric toothbrush apart from the fact that the bristles of the electric toothbrush are driven by a motor. It will wear out at the same rate and need replacing within three months as well.
If you cannot keep track of it all, simply change your brush in the first month of every new season.
A very key part in your oral health is keeping timely checkups and cleanings for preventative care. You can call our office at 561-799-7791