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When Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

Posted in Dental Care, and General Dentistry

Toothbrush Expiry

Most of the products we use daily have an expiry date. We are all very careful not to drink the milk after its expiry date. We throw away food and medications after they expire, but for some reason most people don’t think about their toothbrush expiring. Keeping your toothbrush up to date is very important, and not just for dental health. The pandemic has made us all more aware of how viruses spread, yet another reason to pay attention to the storage and condition of your toothbrush.

Erbsville Dental and most brush manufacturers recommend replacing your toothbrush every 12-16 weeks. Overused brushes become less effective at removing plaque from your teeth and gums. Another good reason to change your toothbrush is that germs can build up over time. Instead of cleaning your mouth you could be spreading bacteria and infection. It’s especially important to replace your toothbrush after a cold or flu.

After Use

How you store your toothbrush after use is also very important. Funguses, bacteria, and viruses thrive in damp warm conditions. Therefor, after use rinse your brush thoroughly with hot water, take time to dry it out and place it uncovered and upright to finish drying. Be sure to keep it separate from other toothbrushes to avoid cross contamination. When traveling cover the brush head and keep in a dry clean space, and again away from other used brushes.

The condition of the bristles can be an indicator of how long it’s been in use. If the bristles loose shape, fray, fan out, or change color it’s time for a new brush.

Nasty Buildup

If the thought of fungus and bacteria building up on your brush isn’t enough to make you change it, there are many other good reasons to keep it current. Gum disease is most commonly caused by inadequate cleaning of the mouth. Ineffective brushing from using an old brush can be the reason you contract gum disease. Gingivitis can lead to infection and tooth loss. A sad consequence when there was an easy, inexpensive solution.

Questions About Products

If you’re not sure about what type of brush to buy, ask Dr. Mathews at your next appointment. Everyone is different and have different needs. However, most dentists will recommend a soft brush so that you don’t damage your teeth and gums by applying too much pressure. A general size recommendation is that the bristles on the brush should touch 1 or 2 teeth at a time.

The toothpaste you use is also important, many dentists recommend buying one with fluoride as it has been removed from many cities water supplies. A good mouthwash could also contain fluoride and help fight plaque and gum disease along with flossing regularly.

If you can, invest in an electric toothbrush. They have been proven to remove more plaque than a regular brush, however a manual brush combined with a good routine can be as effective. A super awesome electric brush that is rarely used is much less effective. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for advice on what dental products to buy.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.