When was the last time you got a new toothbrush? Most people buy a new toothbrush once or twice per year or when they notice wear and tear or when they visit their dentist! But did you know the American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months? There are several other factors that necessitate a toothbrush replacement. So if you have been wondering, “how often should I replace my toothbrush?” then keep reading! We’ll dive into how often, why, and what happens if you don’t replace your toothbrush regularly.
How often should I replace my toothbrush and why?
If you are following the ADA’s guidelines, you should replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or more often if the bristles are worn out or frayed. It can be hard to keep up with replacing something every few months though, so is it really that important? In short – Yes!
The bristles on your toothbrush become less effective over time. The longer you use your toothbrush, the fewer bacteria and plaque it cleans from your teeth, gums, and tongue. Additionally, bacteria can grow on your toothbrush and cause infections or illnesses. Routinely replacing your toothbrush can reduce the likelihood of gum disease and cavities. So failing to replace your toothbrush could cause you to spend more time at the dentist.
Are there other reasons to replace your toothbrush?
There are a few other reasons to replace your toothbrush. If you notice wear and tear, frayed bristles, or missing bristles, the toothbrush is probably no longer as effective as it once was. Applying a lot of pressure when you brush can cause the bristles to break down faster, so it is likely you would need to replace more often than every three months.
If you have been sick recently, it is important to replace your toothbrush to prevent getting sick again or continuing to spread germs. If you spill something on it- like a hair or skincare product- you will need to replace your toothbrush even if it hasn’t been three months. Since it will be impossible to properly clean the bristles, purchasing a new one is best. Additionally, you should avoid boiling your toothbrush, as that can also damage the bristles.
Replacing your toothbrush is just one step in taking care of your happy and healthy smile.
Contact Us for a Dental Appointment Today!
If you have more questions about how to properly take care of your teeth, Empire Dental Care can help. Dr. Cohen’s gentle approach to preventative and cosmetic dentistry ensures the best oral hygiene possible in each of her patients. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at 585-671-1650.