Like most people, you probably know brushing your teeth supports oral health. You may even remember to brush twice daily, as suggested by your dentist. Still, you may not realize that you should sometimes replace your toothbrush. This latter practice is as essential to dental hygiene as the others. That said, you’ll need to understand how to go about the habit in the future. Luckily, your dentist in Medford can help with that. Read on to learn when and why to switch your toothbrush, as well as some toothbrush-care tips.
When & Why to Switch Your Toothbrush
A toothbrush gradually loses effectiveness with use. In other words, it becomes less able to clean your teeth and keep your mouth healthy. Dentists thus recommend switching your toothbrush (or at least its bristles) every three months. Otherwise, you’re likely to experience the following:
- Bacterial Buildup: Each time you brush your teeth, harmful bacteria and plaque cling to your toothbrush afterward. The longer you use a brush, the more likely you will make your teeth dirty.
- Worn Bristles: Like most things, your toothbrush suffers wear and tear. Its bristles will wear out as you brush your pearly whites with it. As a result, it’ll be ineffective at removing bacteria risk causing premature gum recession and inflammation.
Alternately, sometimes you should replace your toothbrush before the three-month mark. For example, you’ll want to do so if you recently had a cold, flu, or other viral infection. Since viruses and bacteria can cling to bristles, using the associated toothbrush could lead to reinfection.
To ensure your toothbrush lasts the full three months, you’ll need to take good care of it. Here are some ways to keep it working between replacements.
Firstly, dry your toothbrush between uses. Damp ones are breeding grounds for germs. Therefore, shake yours under tap water after use so it can dry out.
Also, store your toothbrush in a safe place. You don’t want to put it in a small, enclosed space, as that’ll promote bacteria growth. Don’t let it touch other toothbrushes, either, or germs will get transferred.
Lastly, don’t try sterilizing your toothbrush with an appliance. Excess heat can warp its bristles, making it less effective at teeth-cleaning.
Even if it seems annoying, replacing your toothbrush regularly will keep your teeth and gums clean. Therefore, remember the three-month rule so your smile stays shiny and white!
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino is a dentist based in Medford, MA, having earned his DDM from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Thanks to his nearly thirty years of experience, he performs excellent preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry for his patients. The good doctor can also provide emergency dentistry. Whatever your smile needs, Dr. Giamberardino can get it for you! He currently practices at Giamberardino Dental Care and can be reached on his website or by phone at (239)-939-7299.