Oral hygiene refers to the practice of cleaning your mouth using tools like floss, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. You need to complete this regimen to remove harmful residues like plaque before they hurt your oral health.
When you run out of floss or toothpaste, you know you need to buy more of these products to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. But did you know that you also need to buy a new toothbrush to maximize oral hygiene benefits?
If you continue using an old toothbrush, you might not be getting your mouth as clean as it needs to be. Read on to learn more about the importance of replacing your toothbrush every so often.
What Happens to a Toothbrush Over Time?
Your toothbrush features bristles attached to one end of a plastic handle. You use these bristles to scrub residues from your teeth in conjunction with toothpaste to keep your smile clean. Over time, the bristles start to fray and wear down, which will make them less effective at scrubbing.
The toothbrush will also collect bacteria and germs from both your mouth and the surroundings where you store it. This will impact its ability to clean your mouth as well as pose a risk of making you sick.
Do not cover your toothbrush’s head in an attempt to protect it from germs. This will only breed more bacteria and mold. Instead, you should toss old toothbrushes and replace them with new ones periodically.
What Happens If I Use a Worn Toothbrush?
If you continue using an old, worn toothbrush, your mouth might not get as clean as it should. Ineffective brushing may leave plaque and other harmful residues on your teeth. Then the particles can eat away at your dental structure, weakening your teeth.
Enamel damage like this is irreversible, and it leaves your teeth in danger of cavities and other dental dangers. While a dentist can treat a cavity, you should preserve your natural dental structure for as long as you can. And this means practicing preventative care like oral hygiene with the right tools. Brush your teeth with intact, fresh toothbrushes whenever possible.
How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
Dentists recommend that the average dental patient should replace their toothbrush with a fresh one every three to four months. After this point, the bristles on the brush will fray and not function as well as they should. If you see bristles wearing down prior to this time, you should buy a new toothbrush sooner.
Electric toothbrushes feature shorter bristles than manual ones, which means they begin to fray more quickly. You will need to replace the head of this brush more frequently, usually around every twelve weeks.
If you or someone in your household contracts a contagious illness, you should replace all the toothbrushes in your home, even if it is before the brushes are worn. This stops the spread of disease. Learn more about toothbrushes, oral hygiene, and preventative dental care when you talk to your dentist.