Is your toothbrush still cleaning your smile effectively? If you haven’t replaced it in a while, chances are your daily dental routine isn’t doing as much good as it should. In fact, since frayed and flattened toothbrush bristles can easily trap bacteria, using a toothbrush past its prime could be doing your oral health more harm than good! Read on to find out how as well as when your Medford dentist recommends tossing your old toothbrush.
How Old Toothbrushes Influence Oral Health
It’s common knowledge that regularly brushing your teeth is a key part of keeping your smile clean and healthy. However, a toothbrush with frayed or dirty bristles can easily trap plaque, bacteria, and lingering food particles then redeposit them into your mouth! Studies show that using an old toothbrush can lead to:
- Bad breath
- Gum irritation
- Oral infections
- Plaque buildup
- An increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease
The Average Lifespan of a Toothbrush
To effectively protect your oral health, the American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush:
- After three to four months of use, or…
- As soon as the bristles become frayed, or…
- Once you’ve recovered from a sickness like a cold or the flu.
At first, this may seem like too short of a lifespan for your toothbrush. However, countless research has confirmed that a toothbrush becomes noticeably less effective once the bristles have become frayed. This typically occurs after several months of use but could happen much sooner if you brush with extra force.
Tips for Choosing Your Next Toothbrush
You have many options to choose from when it’s time to replace your toothbrush. Traditional manual toothbrushes are affordable, portable, and easy to use, while modern electric toothbrushes are excellent for those with limited mobility or who can benefit from extra features like timers and sensors. Be sure to choose a size that is easy to handle and can comfortably reach all your teeth, and only use brushes with soft bristles. For a toothbrush that has been tested to meet high standards of safety and efficiency, choose one with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval.
Brushing your teeth is essential to keeping your smile healthy and intact. Make sure your toothbrush is up to the task of keeping your pearly whites clean and beautiful by replacing it every several months!
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino of Giamberadino Dental Care in Medford, MA firmly believes that with the right combination of at-home oral hygiene and professional dental care, every patient can achieve the happy, healthy smile they deserve. With over 30 years of experience, he is happy to provide a wide array of preventive services that can spot and stop any oral health issues before they become larger problems. He would be happy to answer any of your questions about your toothbrush and keeping your smile clean, so feel free to contact him via his website or at (781) 396-3800.