Read on to discover why it is essential to replace your toothbrush every 3 months
Toothbrushes are not supposed to last forever. However, figuring out when to replace a toothbrush can be challenging. Dentists recommend replacing the toothbrush every 12 to 16 weeks or sooner. If you fail to replace your toothbrush even after several months of usage, it can sabotage your dental health. Read on to discover why it is essential to replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
Toothbrushes Are A First Line Of Defense
- Toothbrushes act as the first line of defense against infection-causing bacteria and tooth decay. A toothbrush with straight bristles and an easy grip allows you to reach even the smallest spaces in your mouth. A soft bristle toothbrush enables you to effectively remove food particles and bacteria present at the bases of your teeth.
One of the best measures to protect your teeth from cavities is brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes. However, brushing your teeth after a sugary meal and between meals is an additional measure to prevent tooth decay.
Reasons To Replace Your Toothbrush
- A manual toothbrush is designed to last for 3 months on average. If the toothbrush is not replaced, the bristles will become mangled and fall out. The centers for disease prevention and control (CDC) recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Without proper bristles, the toothbrush fails to brush aside and remove the food particles and plaque.
- The head of an electric toothbrush rotates and vibrates to clean the surface area of your teeth. The nylon bristles of these toothbrushes wear out with regular use. Since the bristles of an electric toothbrush are shorter, they fray more quickly. Therefore, the head of an electric toothbrush should not be used for more than 12 weeks.
- The bristles of a toothbrush are constantly exposed to the chemicals from toothpaste and water. Thus, making them weaker with each use. Eventually, the bristles mangle and twist into a different form. This process is known as bristle flaring.
In addition, if you have been sick with a viral or bacterial infection, including strep throat, switch your toothbrush with a new one. Children’s toothbrushes need to be replaced more often than 3 months as children tend to mash on a toothbrush head. Since everyone’s mouth harbors different bacteria, get rid of the toothbrush if anyone else uses it by mistake.
Using A Toothbrush Beyond Its Lifespan
- A 2013 study showed that 40 days of consistent usage leads to bristle flaring and makes your toothbrush less effective. The participants who did not replace their toothbrushes even after 40 days experienced more plaque buildup. Other studies on worn-out toothbrush bristles confirmed that older bristles are less effective at eliminating plaque. Thus, leading to an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Taking Care Of Your Toothbrush
Take care of your toothbrushes like any other personal grooming or hygiene tool.
- Avoid sharing your toothbrush with anyone else.
- If your toothbrush is placed in a container with other toothbrushes, do not let their heads touch.
- After every use, rinse your toothbrush correctly with tap water.
- Never use a disinfectant, mouthwash, or hot water to sanitize your toothbrush, as this would spread germs.
- Do not use a closed container to store your toothbrush when not in use. This can encourage the growth of mold and cause bacterial spread.
- Cover your toothbrush with a breathable cap if you want to separate it from other toothbrushes in a container.
Seeing your dentist regularly can make a difference in keeping your mouth looking and feeling healthy. To book your routine Dental Exams And Cleanings, contact Icon Dental Center at 206-225-2882. Our experienced dentists offer the best dental care. Our clinics are located in Seattle and Everett.