Brushing your teeth daily is one of the most important things that prevents cavities, and it does more than just that. Regular teeth brushing also helps fight gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. This makes a toothbrush a very important oral health tool. A tool we need to take good care of and replace regularly. As such, you may be wondering, “How often should I change my toothbrush?” Along with brushing properly twice daily, the condition of your toothbrush plays a vital role in your oral health.
How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?
The first thing to check when deciding if you need a toothbrush is the bristles. Are they still firm? Are they flattened and overused? Frayed? If your toothbrush looks worn down, it’s time to replace it. Another really simple way to determine if your toothbrush needs replacing is to see if it’s dirty. Tiny food particles at the base? Then it’s time to get a new one. Have you been sick? That’s another good reason to purchase a new one because you don’t want to continue to spread the same bacteria in your mouth.
When was the last time you switched out your toothbrush? Weeks? Months? Years? The ADA recommends replacing them every three to four months. If you can’t remember when the last time you replaced yours was, it’s time for a new one. Kids can be a bit harder on their brushes, so they made need replacements more often than adults. Fun toothbrushes are a great way to get your kids excited to brush their teeth. Taking them to pick out their own can be a fantastic way to get them on board with proper brushing.
Are You Brushing Correctly?
We recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time. A simple way to do this is to set a timer or watch a clock. Ideally, brushing after each meal, or after a sugary snack, is a good idea. Can you brush your teeth too much? This isn’t likely, unless you are brushing too hard or doing so after eating acidic food. As long as you are taking your time and brushing with a toothbrush in excellent condition, you are doing great!
Are There Bacteria on Your Toothbrush?
Yes! The unfortunate truth is there are bacteria on your toothbrush. That’s why you shouldn’t share your toothbrush with other people. There are other ways to prevent bacteria from growing quickly as well. Along with not sharing your toothbrush, you also don’t want your toothbrushes touching each other. How you store your toothbrush makes a difference as well. You don’t want to put it in a drawer, container, or anything that will prevent it from drying quickly. If you place it in a closed area, this will encourage bacteria to increase and grow. You want to store them standing up, not touching each other, in a location with good air circulation. After brushing, it is unnecessary to disinfect your toothbrush; a simple rinse off with do quite fine as long as you are storing it correctly.
Remembering to Brush Regularly
If you struggle to remember to brush your teeth, you’re not alone. Mark it on the calendar, put a reminder in your phone, and remember to replace each family member’s toothbrush every three to four months. You may even notice your oral health improves. Or perhaps your kids will look forward to their new toothbrushes and use them more effectively. Put two minutes on the timer, store your toothbrush correctly, and your mouth will thank you. If you take good care of your toothbrush, your toothbrush will take good care of you.