Have you replaced your toothbrush lately? Just like you go through your pantry and refrigerator to clean out expired foods or get rid of expired vitamins, you should do the same for your toothbrush. For some, cleaning out your dental hygiene products does not get the same priority.
The items you use to take care of your teeth should be regularly cleaned out, especially your toothbrush. Discover some things you need to know.
Why Should You Exchange Your Toothbrush Often?
According to the American Dental Association, you should change your toothbrush every three to four months, whether it is electric or manual. Toothbrushes used twice daily can become worn down and less effective at getting your teeth clean and removing plaque from your gumline. After this time period, the bristles begin to break down and cannot get your teeth clean.
After a few months of daily use, your toothbrush can also begin to hold the bacteria you remove from your mouth and teeth. If your toothbrush has bacteria on it, you are at a higher risk of infecting your mouth and may suffer from mouth sores or other painful problems.
If you have been sick with a cold or other illness, also consider replacing your toothbrush immediately after you are well, even if it is prior to the recommended timeframe. When you are sick, your toothbrush is more prone to gathering the bacteria from your illness. You do not want to inadvertently make yourself sick again due to the germs on your toothbrush.
Another issue to think about is the possible growth of bacteria and fungus just from the everyday storage of your toothbrush. Toothbrushes tend to be moist after use and are typically kept in a moist environment in the bathroom.
This leads to additional fungal germs and bacteria. Between replacements, be sure to dry the toothbrush off as much as possible and keep it covered to keep it clean.
If a few months have passed since you replaced your toothbrush or you cannot remember the last time you got a new one, pick up a new toothbrush the next time you go grocery shopping.
If you notice that the bristles on your toothbrush have begun to wear down or you see any strange colors on the toothbrush, replace it right away. Any discoloration could be a sign of mold growth.
What Can Happen if You Do Not Replace Your Toothbrush?
In addition to the growth of germs and fungus, you can also damage your teeth and gums with a toothbrush past its prime. The worn bristles can scrape your gums and cause them to bleed. An old toothbrush cannot clean your teeth as well, so you have a greater risk of developing gingivitis because you cannot effectively remove the plaque from your teeth.
If your toothbrush grows fungus or mold, you can ingest those germs and become ill as well.
What Type of Toothbrush Should You Purchase?
When you replace your toothbrush, do some research ahead of time to determine which type will work best for you. Ideally, get a toothbrush with soft bristles. Hard bristles can be damaging to the teeth and gums.
You may want to consider an electric toothbrush for even better oral hygiene. Electric toothbrushes are often more effective at getting your teeth clean when compared to a manual toothbrush. You then only have to replace the brush head when it becomes worn.
If you have any questions about replacing your toothbrush or need a suggestion on a toothbrush, please contact Apollo Dental Center. We look forward to helping you with your toothbrush needs.