Proper oral hygiene means using the best tools. When you run out of toothpaste or floss, you know you need to purchase new supplies. But did you know you must replace your toothbrush regularly too?
A toothbrush is often overlooked as the durable bristles and handle can scrub your teeth for a long time. But if cannot function effectively forever.
You must buy a new toothbrush and get rid of your old one routinely to ensure your smile stays as clean and healthy as it should. Read on to discover the importance of replacing your toothbrush every so often to maximize your preventative dental care.
What Happens to Your Toothbrush Over Time?
Your toothbrush features firm bristles attached to a plastic handle that you use to scrub away plaque, lingering food particles, and other residues from your teeth. Over time, these bristles will wear down and begin to fray, and they will be less capable of cleaning your teeth the way you require. So plaque will cling to your smile, eating away at your teeth and putting you at risk of many dental problems.
Toothbrushes also collect germs from both your mouth and the surrounding area where you keep them. You rinse your toothbrush before and after your oral hygiene regimen, but the exposure still leaves your toothbrush vulnerable. It will therefore deteriorate as time passes.
You should not store it in a closed container, however, as this will breed bacteria and mold, worsening the issue. Instead, you will need to buy a new toothbrush after a few months of usage.
How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?
Dental experts agree you should replace traditional manual toothbrushes every three to four months. After this time, the bristles on the brush will fray enough that they will not properly clean your mouth. If you see bristles wearing down sooner than that, you should buy a new toothbrush before this time.
Electric toothbrushes feature shorter bristles, meaning they can fray more quickly and will need more frequent replacements. You should buy a new head for an electric toothbrush every 12 weeks or so.
Sometimes, you will need to buy a new toothbrush due to situational circumstances outside of this wear and tear. For instance, if you or someone you live with falls ill, you should throw out all the toothbrushes to stop the spread of germs. You should also get rid of your toothbrush if you know someone else has used it.
What Happens If You Use an Old Toothbrush?
If you use a toothbrush for longer than four months, you might leave plaque and other residues on your smile. This increases your risk for cavities. Though a dentist can treat a cavity, you should preserve the natural structure of your smile for as long as you can.
You might also form stains if you cannot brush your teeth effectively. Protect the appearance and health of your smile by maintaining good oral hygiene and using the most effective tools to do so.