You’re brushing your teeth twice a day, you are flossing, using mouthwash and generally doing all of the right things to maintain the health of your teeth and gums but how often should you replace your toothbrush?
Surprisingly more often than you think!
It is recommended you change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 12-16 weeks as a rule and in some cases even more often, here is why. An average toothbrush can contain up to 10 million bacteria including E.coli. Old toothbrushes are not as effective at removing plaque which can lead to gingivitis, gum damage and can lead to infection.
CHECK YOUR BRISTLES!
Are they worn, frayed or bent? If your bristles are showing wear it will not be as effective when cleaning so it’s time for a new one!
HAVE YOU BEEN SICK?
If you’ve been ill, or indeed a family member has, it’s a good idea to get a new brush as some lingering germs can put you at risk of re-infecting yourself when you use the same toothbrush. Viral and bacterial infections such as throat strep are of particular concern.
CHECK FOR DEBRIS ON YOUR BRUSH
Check the base of the bristles, is there is any debris it’s also time to change!
HAS IT TOUCHED ANOTHER BRUSH?
If your brush is kept in a pot with the rest of the families, there’s a good chance it has come into contact with another brush and may lead to swapping bacteria. If possible, store brushes separately.
WHEN DID YOU LAST CHANGE YOUR BRUSH?
If you can’t remember it’s definitely time for a new one to maintain your optimal oral health.
Children are much more likely to chew on the bristles, leading to fraying and damage, therefore it may be a good idea to change a child’s brush even more regularly.
CHECK ITS COLOUR
If there are any dark colour changes this could indicate the presence of mould. If this is the case, air on the side of caution and get a new one.
DID SOMEONE ELSE USE YOUR BRUSH?
If a friend or family member has used your toothbrush get rid of it! Everyone’s mouth contains different bacteria and sharing a toothbrush is not recommended.
LOOK AFTER YOUR TOOTHBRUSH!
You should look after your brush the way you look after any personal grooming tool. Don’t share your brush with anyone else. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after using with tap water. You may think a cover for your brush, or the head is a good idea but these can actually encourage mould and the spread of bacteria. Let your brush dry upright in the air and try to keep it away from other family members brushes. As a hugely important tool for your oral hygiene it is so important to change your brush as regularly as is recommended as the older it is , the less effective it will be, allowing more build of plaque which can cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Pop it in your diary the next time you need to change your brush!!!!
For any more information on oral hygiene or to make an appointment you can call us on 01482 440084
We also have various electric toothbrushes and heads in stock if you’d like to purchase one on your next visit.