When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? If you can’t remember, the chances are you’re due for a new one. We often neglect or forget to change our toothbrushes, but it is really important for our oral health. Changing your toothbrush regularly ensures you are getting the best results when brushing your teeth.
At Beaches Dental Mona Vale, we want to ensure that all our patients have the best chance of achieving and maintaining great oral health. This article discusses the importance of replacing your toothbrush and how often you should be doing it.
Why is replacing your toothbrush important?
Brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to help prevent oral health issues from arising. The optimum tooth brushing time is twice a day for two minutes each. Most dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush. This is because soft brushes are gentler on your teeth and gums. Toothbrush bristles wear down though. And worn down bristles do not clean your teeth effectively. It can leave you at risk of plaque build-up, gum disease and tooth decay. Replacing your toothbrush regularly prevents this.
How often should I be replacing my toothbrush?
Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every two to three months. You should change it sooner if you notice signs of wear appearing. Signs of wear and tear include flattened and frayed bristles. If your toothbrush is showing these signs long before the two-or three-month mark, it may be a sign that you are brushing your teeth too vigorously or with too much pressure.
When brushing your teeth, you should use gentle circular motions rather than harsh back and forth movements. If you’re unsure about your brushing technique, speak to your dentist. They can show you how to brush effectively and give you advice on what type of toothbrush to use.
Other reasons to change your toothbrush
There are a few other reasons that call for replacing your toothbrush. We list them below:
Illness or infection
If you have been unwell, you should replace your toothbrush otherwise you risk reinfection. This is particularly true for transferable infections such as cold sores. Your toothbrush can hold onto the bacteria even after you clean it underwater. So, to minimise your risk of getting sick you should always change your toothbrush after these sorts of infections.
Children’s toothbrushes should be changed more frequently than adults. This is because children often chew on their brushes or wipe them on dirty surfaces. So, keep an eye on your kids while they brush their teeth and monitor their brushes for signs of wear and tear.
Sometimes your partner, housemate or sibling accidentally uses your toothbrush. If this happens, throw it in the bin and get a new one. Everyone’s mouth harbours different bacteria and you don’t want to be sharing it.
Unfortunately, the ‘ten-second rule’ doesn’t apply to toothbrushes. If you drop your toothbrush onto a dirty surface such as a toilet bowl, it needs to be replaced. Your toothbrush can easily pick up bacteria or nasty particles.
What happens when you don’t replace your toothbrush regularly?
When you keep your toothbrush for too long, bacteria, fungus and even mould can accumulate. Using a toothbrush with these sorts of accumulations can make you sick. If you notice green or blue coloured build-up on your brush, it might be mould, and you should replace it. Always store your toothbrush upright to let the bristles dry between brushing.
You also risk your oral health if you keep the same toothbrush for too long. An ineffective toothbrush won’t remove plaque, and when plaque builds up it can lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay often begins as a small cavity but can quickly turn into a major problem. The other oral health risk is gum disease. Gum diseases such as gingivitis can lead to infections. When these infections are left untreated they can eventually lead to tooth loss.
It’s easy to protect yourself by simply changing your toothbrush regularly. If you’re a bit forgetful then you could try setting a reminder on your phone. Your teeth will thank you for it.
Family dental care in Mona Vale
At Beaches Dental Mona Vale, we are passionate about good oral health. We are happy to talk you through some healthy oral habits when you come in for an appointment. Call us today to book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists.