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When Should You Really Change Your Toothbrush?

Sometimes we barely remember to brush our teeth, let alone, remember to change our toothbrush when it’s time for a new one!

How do you know when you should change your toothbrush? How should you take care of your toothbrush? And, most importantly, WHY should you change your toothbrush?

 old toothbrush frayed

When should you change your toothbrush?

Dentists commonly recommend that you change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. They even suggest tossing the old brush if you notice the bristles fraying. Children’s toothbrushes usually need more frequent changing. Have you noticed that your child’s toothbrush typically wears and tears faster? That’s because younger children are still learning proper brushing techniques, and tend to bite down on the bristles making them frayed. Frayed bristles are not as effective at cleaning teeth!

Toothbrush Care Tips:

  1. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles are fraying.
  2. Clean off saliva and toothpaste residue after each use.
  3. Store your toothbrush upright, giving it room to air-dry.
  4. Keep your toothbrush away from your toilet to avoid airborne germs when flushing. A commonly recommended distance is 6 feet.
  5. Never share your toothbrush! Even if it’s with someone you love.
  6. Keep your toothbrush in a well-ventilated area. Closed containers are breeding grounds for germs.
  7. Don’t try to clean or disinfect your toothbrush either with disinfectant, in a microwave or in a dishwasher. Disinfectants can contain chemicals you don’t want in your mouth, and microwaves and dishwashers can damage the toothbrush and make it less effective.

If you’re suspicious your toothbrush needs to be changed, it most likely does!

multicolored toothbrushes

 

Why do you need to change your toothbrush?

Bacteria grows on toothbrushes. But don’t be alarmed! There is “insufficient clinical evidence to support that bacterial growth on toothbrushes will lead to specific adverse oral or systemic health effects“. However, if you or someone you live with is at a higher risk of infection due to a systemic disease or a compromised immune system, then changing out toothbrushes is that much more important. People who are more susceptible to disease or infection benefit from limited exposure to potentially harmful bacteria.

 

 

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