Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS
A toothbrush is the most important and the first-line defense against the harmful bacteria in the mouth that can cause cavities and bad breath. We always throw out expired food, restock health supplements, and replace our self-care products but toothbrushes are the most ignored part of the daily routine. Patients frequently ask how often should I replace my toothbrush, well the answer to this question is very simple. As our Dentists in Oxnard center suggest, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), one should replace their toothbrush every 3-4 months.
Why is it important to replace my toothbrush?
It is not just the length of time your toothbrush has been used but also the condition of the bristles that decide whether to replace it or not. If you brush properly, twice a day, your toothbrush goes through a lot of wear and tear. A toothbrush is meant to do an effective cleaning and reach fine spaces between the teeth.
A toothbrush cannot perform its proper function with tattered, frayed, and bent bristles. Even if a toothbrush keeps its brand-new form maintained, one should always keep in mind over time a toothbrush possibly has had contact with blood, saliva, food particles, and contamination. Even if you clean your toothbrush regularly with tap water, it might have some harmful bacteria. The chance of contamination increases many folds especially after getting sick.
When to replace my toothbrush?
It is advised to change your toothbrush every three to four months in order to maintain appropriate oral hygiene. Replace your toothbrush more quickly if you have recently been ill, especially if it is kept among other toothbrushes. A new toothbrush should be purchased if the bristles on your old one are ragged or worn out. Children typically use more force while brushing their teeth than adults do, so they could require more frequent toothbrush replacements.
What happens when you don’t change toothbrush?
Using the same toothbrush for long periods, not only leads to improper cleaning but also causes the accumulation of food particles and debris in various areas around the teeth that can lead to several gum diseases and an overall decline in oral and general health. At Channel Islands Family Dental, our Dentist in Oxnard always educates the patients about the role of a clean toothbrush in maintaining the good health of teeth, gums, and other oral tissues.
What do dentists recommend?
- With proper toothbrushing twice a day, your toothbrush wears out quickly and it is important to recognize the signs to keep a check on your toothbrush to maintain good oral health.
- Most dental professionals recommend one should use a toothbrush with soft bristles which should be changed after every 3-4 months.
- Those people who brush more than twice or brush after meals say three to four times a day and tend to use a lot of pressure with the brush need frequent replacement of toothbrush.
- Always remember, when the bristles start to fray and lose their stiffness, the toothbrush is almost ready to be replaced.
How to keep your toothbrush clean?
- First and foremost, it’s crucial to completely rinse your toothbrush after each usage. By doing so, you may get rid of any toothpaste residue and other particles and stop bacteria from growing on your toothbrush.
- In addition to keeping it clean, ADA also recommends that you should never share your toothbrush with anyone else.
- Storing your toothbrush properly is as important as keeping it clean. ADA recommends keeping your toothbrush in a vertical upright position with bristles up. This helps in allowing the bristles to dry naturally killing most of the harmful bacteria. Placing a toothbrush covered in a plastic cap or any closed container can allow bacteria to grow and flourish. Soaking your toothbrush in a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide or an alcohol-containing mouthwash decreases significant bacterial load (approx 85 percent).
Your toothbrush is an essential tool for maintaining good dental hygiene. It’s important to replace my toothbrush, only use my own toothbrush, store it upright, and allow it to air dry in order to prolong its lifespan. Additionally, it’s recommended that every member of your family should replace their toothbrush every three to four months. To ensure that you don’t forget, it’s a good idea to note the purchase date on your calendar.
If you have any questions about how children’s teeth erupt and fall out or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Islands Family Dental as well as our page on Facebook. We look forward to your visit and we will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, Newbury Park, and Port Hueneme will be able to guide you toward the best treatment to take care of your health and give you back your best smile.