The Truth About Your Toothbrush
Many of us don’t think about the toothbrush that sits in the jar on the counter until one day, we look at it and realize the bristles are all worn out. By that time, that toothbrush probably hasn’t been doing its job for a very long time.
When to Replace the Toothbrush
Most dental professionals recommend replacing the toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3 to 4 months. Here’s why:
Infection – Healthy oral microorganisms live on your toothbrush and can cause infections if you have a break or oral ulcer in the gum tissue. Illness causing viruses and bacteria can live on a toothbrush for weeks and transfer those nasties back into your mouth every time you brush.
Frayed Bristles – If your toothbrush gets to the stage where it looks like you scrubbed the oven with it, it’s definitely time to replace it. In fact, it’s way beyond time. Whether you use an old-fashioned hand-held toothbrush, an electric toothbrush, or a battery powered toothbrush, replace the brush on a regular basis. You can purchase old hand- held brushes in bulk and keep them handy. Additional heads for electric brushes can be purchased with several in a package.
Keep it Clean – You may think rinsing the brush after use is sufficient, and it does remove some debris, but if you have a systemic illness or immune disorder, you may want to soak it in antibacterial mouthwash or run it through the dishwasher periodically. And be sure to replace it once you are healed.
Storing the Toothbrush – Don’t throw your toothbrush into a drawer and forget it. Wet brushes encourage mold and if it touches other toothbrushes, it can transfer saliva laden bacteria to other brushes. The best way to store it is in an upright position with good air flow so the bristles can dry thoroughly.
To sum it up, your health depends on keeping your mouth and teeth clean and replacing your toothbrush frequently is an easy way to do it.