Just like food, vitamins, and beauty products, our toothbrushes can go bad. Over time, our toothbrushes experience wear and tear that makes them less effective at removing plaque. Old toothbrushes can also accumulate germs, bacteria, fungus, and even mold. Most dentists and the American Dental Association recommend changing your toothbrush every three months. Keep reading to learn more about replacing your toothbrush.
In addition to the wear and tear of the bristles, toothbrushes can actually collect germs. These germs hide between the bristles and build up over time. The build-up of germs is especially likely if you are using your toothbrush when you are sick. After you’ve recovered from a cold, be sure to switch out your brush. In doing so, you eliminate your risk of reinfection from brushing.
You want your toothbrush to last for the full three months because you don’t want to contribute to unnecessary waste or spend a lot of money on your brushes. In order to make your toothbrush last, take care of it properly. Start by rinsing off your brush and drying it after every use. When you’re not using your brush, store it in the upright position and keep it away from other brushes. When you’re traveling with a toothbrush, cover it to protect it and reduce the spread of bacteria.
You can tell when it is time to replace your toothbrush if you notice a buildup of bacteria or fungus. If the bristles of your toothbrush have dark spots, those dark spots may be evidence of mold. Fanned-out, frayed, or worn bristles are also a sign that it is time to replace your brush.
If you don’t replace your toothbrush frequently enough, you can get sick. This is because you are exposing yourself to unhealthy germs and bacteria. Your gums can get damaged by these germs, which can lead to gingivitis. If you leave gingivitis untreated, you can get an infection, and infections can cause teeth to fall out.
Changing your toothbrush every three months is one of the keys to ideal oral health. In addition to switching out your toothbrush on a routine basis, you also need to visit your dentist for bi-annual cleanings. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Marshall Skopp, DMD, by calling 718-982-5230 today!