Many things in life wear out and need to be changed and that includes our toothbrush! Sometimes though, we may forget that it needs to be changed. After all, even after a lot of use the toothbrush will still function as a brush. However there are good reasons to follow recommended intervals between changing our toothbrushes. Following them can lead to improved oral health.
When To Change Your Toothbrush
Official information from the American Dental Association (ADA) along with many other dentists recommend that you change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. We may not realise from day to day but our toothbrushes wear out over time. Just compare your old toothbrush to a new one and you’ll see the bristles are frayed on the old one. When the bristles wear out like this they become less effective in removing plaque from teeth and gums. Studies have shown that their effectiveness is reduced after 3 months.
Something else to think about is the hygiene of the old toothbrush. We may feel that using it everyday will keep it clean, however germs like to hide in the bristles and over time they can build up. This is an important thing to consider when you have a cold. After recovering it would be a good idea to change the toothbrush to avoid reinfection.
Another danger to avoid is the buildup of bacteria and fungus. They too like to hide in the bristles of your toothbrush. By rinsing the brush thoroughly and drying it after use can help reduce the risk of bacteria and fungus building up. Also cover the head of the toothbrush when travelling to further protect your toothbrush from picking up germs.
It’s all too easy to lose track of time and you may not remember just how old your toothbrush is. If you see a lot of fraying bristles or they are fanned out, or more importantly they’ve become discolored (darkened bristles are a sign of mould) then it may well be time to change your toothbrush.
What Happens If I Don’t Change My Toothbrush Often Enough?
As already has been said, germs and fungus can grow within the bristles. Imagine what affect that can have on your health if you put those in your mouth twice a day! Not to mention there are other types of germs and particles that can end up on your toothbrush if you store it within close proximity to your toilet.
Also, as bristles wear out they become less effective in removing plaque. This can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis can cause infections which eventually will lead to teeth falling out if left untreated.
What Toothbrush Should I Get?
Your dentist is a good person to ask for recommendations regarding dental products. Each person has specific needs and he will know yours well. Many dentists would recommend soft bristles over hard ones as the latter can damage teeth and gums. Also it’s recommended that the head of the toothbrush is large enough to cover two teeth at one time.
Another recommendation is to switch to an electric toothbrush. Some studies have shown that they are more effective in removing plaque, stains and reducing gingivitis.
Preventative measures are always better than curative. However if you are affected by excessive tooth decay or gum disease then the surgeons at California Oral Surgery can help with your dental surgery needs. Conveniently located in Stockton, California Oral Surgery serves all of San Joaquin County and the surrounding area. Their services include full mouth extractions and dental implants. Book now online for your appointment.