We practice oral hygiene at home to clean away plaque and other residues that accrue over our teeth throughout the day. In order to get our smiles as clean as possible, we need to use the best tools when brushing and flossing our teeth. When you run out of toothpaste or floss, you know to buy more.
But did you know that you must also buy a new toothbrush every so often? Over time, your toothbrush will lose its ability to scrub properly, so in order to keep your smile safe from harm, you need to purchase a new one in a timely fashion. Read on to learn details about the importance of replacing your toothbrush.
What Happens to Your Toothbrush Over Time?
Your toothbrush features a handle with bristles attached to one end which you apply toothpaste to and use to scrub plaque and other harmful residues from your teeth. Over time, these bristles will wear down and start to fray. Then they become less effective at scrubbing and therefore cleaning your teeth.
When plaque remains on your smile, it will eat away at your dental structure, which can allow oral bacteria to more easily penetrate your enamel. Then you will have a higher risk of cavities, oral infections, and other dental dangers.
A dentist can treat many of these dental problems. But ideally, you should preserve the natural structure of your smile for as long as you can. This means seeking preventative dentistry by using proper tools for your oral hygiene regimen, including an adequate toothbrush.
A toothbrush will also collect germs over time from both your mouth and the surroundings where you store it. This can impact the effectiveness of the toothbrush as well, even if you rinse the brush before and after your oral hygiene routine.
Do not use a cover over the head of the toothbrush to try to protect it from germs. This will just breed more bacteria and mold. Instead, you will need to toss an old toothbrush and buy a new one periodically.
How Often Should I Replace a Toothbrush?
The average person will need to replace their manual traditional toothbrush every three or four months. After this time, the bristles of the brush will fray and not clean as well as they should. If you see the bristles wearing down before this time, you should buy a new toothbrush sooner.
Electric toothbrushes use shorter bristles than manual ones, meaning they can start to fray sooner. So you will need to replace the head more frequently, usually every 12 weeks.
You might also need to obtain a new toothbrush for other reasons. For instance, if you or someone you live with contracts a contagious illness, like a stomach bug, you should toss all of the toothbrushes in the house. This helps to stop the spread of the disease.
You may also want to buy a new toothbrush if you know someone has used or borrowed it. Avoid sharing your toothbrush to preserve your oral health along with your overall well-being.