While it’s important to brush twice a day, it’s also essential to keep track of the tools you’re using to keep your teeth clean. It doesn’t matter if you use a manual toothbrush vs. an electric one as both will keep teeth sufficiently free of plaque. However, the toothbrush (or toothbrush head) you use will need to be replaced every so often. If you’re constantly second-guessing when the best time to do that is, keep reading this post from a dentist in Green Hills!
The General Rule-of-Thumb for Brush Replacement
In most cases, a toothbrush should be replaced after the bristles begin to fray or after about three months of use. Toothbrush bristles are designed to be firm, yet soft, allowing them to gently and effectively clear away bacteria, food debris, and plaque from the surface of the teeth and gums. Once your bristles are either frayed or they begin to naturally bend, they are no longer cleaning your teeth properly and need to be replaced.
If you’re using a disposable toothbrush head, check the packaging to see if there are discoloration markers that indicate when it should be replaced. These can be helpful as they add a visual reminder to your routine.
Keep in mind that toothbrushes should not only be replaced if they become frayed. There are a handful of other reasons that should make you replace it promptly.
Other Reasons to Replace a Toothbrush
If you are recently getting over a cold or the flu, you’ll want to replace your toothbrush as well. You don’t want to get yourself sick again (or infect anyone that may be using the same bathroom as you.) The same goes for if you recently had a canker or cold sore, which toothbrushes can harbor bacteria of.
While you may read online that its possible to disinfect your toothbrush following an illness, there’s no concrete evidence that this actually works. Toothbrushes are hardly expensive, so it’s much better to just play it safe. Under no circumstances should you try to disinfect your toothbrush in a dishwasher or the microwave as this can melt and ruin the bristles.
Keep in mind that toothbrushes for children may need to be replaced sooner as well as they are more likely to chew on the brush’s head or handle. Furthermore, if anyone accidentally uses your toothbrush, don’t take the risk; replace it promptly.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be far more equipped to manage your brushing at home. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to keep plaque and cavity-causing bacteria at bay! Of course, the only way to know for sure if your routine is effective is to schedule an exam with a dentist, where you can also receive a free toothbrush in Green Hills!
About the Author
Dr. James Kirby is fully dedicated to helping his patients perfect their at-home oral care and recommending the most effective toothbrushes for the job. During routine exams, he’ll carefully examine your teeth and gums and provide tips to make your oral care easier and more effective. Feel free to schedule your next appointment by contacting him through his website!