How often should you replace your toothbrush? 

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You would be surprised at how often you really should be replacing your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head. While one of the most common unpracticed necessary oral care routines is flossing, second up is replacing one’s toothbrush. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) one should be replacing their toothbrush around every three months. However, some dentists will tell you, that although this is a good general rule to follow, it depends on how you use your toothbrush. The main factor being, how often you use your toothbrush. If you brush your teeth as you should, which is at least twice a day, then the suggested 3-month timeline is accurate.

How do you know it’s time for a new toothbrush?

If you want to make things simple and just follow the 3-month rule, then you will be fine. However, you may want to delve in a bit deeper to learn the reasons when and why you should replace.

  • Whenever the bristles on your toothbrush start to protrude outward then you are not getting a proper cleaning when you brush. If you notice this happening, it is a clear sign that it is time for a new toothbrush.
  • If you run your tongue across your teeth after brushing and recognize that slippery-smooth feeling on your teeth isn’t there any more, this is another sign it’s time to replace.
  • Although this isn’t a reason you can see, a very important factor is bacteria. Over time a build-up of germs and bacteria will build up on your toothbrush, and this is especially true if you are keeping your toothbrush in the bathroom (which is assumed as most people do.)
  • Another reason to replace is if you have been sick with a bacterial type infection like strep throat or even a viral infection like the flu.

How can you discourage bacteria build-up on your toothbrush?

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid germ and bacteria build-up completely, but there are steps you can take to lessen it.

  • Store your toothbrush upright between uses (try using a cup). This will help it to dry properly and dry toothbrush is a less attractive home to germs and bacteria.
  • Don’t use a brush cap. Using a brush cap can actually contribute to bacteria build-up in the bristles of your toothbrush head. It also prohibits the brush from drying properly, enabling the germs and bacteria to live. In fact, a 2007 study confirmed that covering your toothbrush head with a cap “leads to growth of opportunistic microorganisms”.

On top of taking these measures to ensure you and your family are using a clean and functioning toothbrush, regularly visiting your dentist for a dental cleaning in Irving is of utmost importance. Call to schedule an appointment with a trusted and caring dentist here at Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.