How Often Should I Replace Your Toothbrush?
It is important to replace your toothbrush at least four times per year. Brushing of the teeth involves direct contact with your teeth, gums, and mucous membranes. It is more personal than most people would admit. After some time, toothbrushes tend to accumulate dust, dirt, and microbes.
The microbes contained in it can provoke infection, mouth diseases and can penetrate further into the body, causing a decline in health. Toothbrushes lose not only their original appearance with use, but they also collect microbes from the mouth and the environment.
These microbes begin to multiply after some time. Although the increase is not severe in the first few weeks, they pose a considerable health risk when too many are present after a few months.
What Should Make You Replace Your Toothbrush?
Aside from the fact that bristles lose functional qualities with use, allowing dirt to pass through, and doing a poor job at cleaning the teeth. It is best to replace a toothbrush in the following situations:
- After suffering infectious diseases (flu, herpes, ARVI), pathogenic bacteria remain on the toothbrush even if you have completely recovered, which can provoke re-infection.
- When the color of the bristles changes – if it has darkened, turned yellow, covered with spots.
- The appearance of build-up on the surface or at the base of the bristles.
- With severe wear, if the bristles are loose – sticking out in different directions, frayed short fibers cannot remove dirt efficiently, there will be no benefit from such cleaning. Worn-out bristles can damage the soft tissue of the gums, causing inflammation.
- When the brush falls on the floor or somewhere else – even if you immediately picked it up and thoroughly washed it with hot water or treated it with a disinfectant. Changing your toothbrush is the safest option for you.
- When mold appears. The bathroom is a favorable humid environment for fungi, microbes. No matter how well you keep your toothbrush, mold will always find a way to get in.
How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?
Most dentists and oral hygiene manufacturers say that you should replace a toothbrush every 12-16 weeks. That is approximately three months. If you brush more than twice a day, your brush will get worn out faster, and you’ll need to change it early.
How Often Should Adult Toothbrush Be Changed?
The average lifespan of a toothbrush is three and a half months. The 3-month replacement recommendation applies for all adult toothbrushes used for routine cleaning twice a day and with proper tool care.
How Often Should a Child’s Toothbrush Be Changed?
Children’s toothbrushes should be changed more frequently than adults’ because toddlers chew on the handle or pinch the head between their teeth. This reduces the toothbrush’s effectiveness over time.
How Often Should Electric Toothbrush Heads Be Changed?
The tips wear even faster as the nylon bristles are shorter than conventional models and rotate. The heads should be changed every two months, at least.
According to the Type of Bristles
The exact time to change your toothbrush also depends on the type of material the bristles are made of:
- Bamboo bristle toothbrushes should be changed every two months. Pathogenic bacteria accumulate on it faster than other bristle types.
- Natural bristles – microbes multiply more actively on natural materials. The bristles themselves are softer, wear out faster, and must be replaced every three months.
- Nozzles for electric brushes are made of durable, dense materials. They need to be changed every 4-5 months.
There are circumstances in which you should discard your old brush sooner:
- If you or a member of your family get sick, especially in the case of viral and bacterial infections.
- If someone mistakenly uses your toothbrush: someone else’s microflora negatively affects the state of the oral cavity.
- If the brush is initially of poor quality and looks worn out prematurely.
Why It Is Important to Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
New toothbrushes are optimal for permanent dental care and effectively prevent tooth decay, plaque, and bad breath. They are better at removing food particles and bacteria that have accumulated along the gum line.
If you brush your teeth with an old brush, over time, you may encounter the following problems:
- Diseases of the mucous membrane. Cavities form on the villi, in which microbes accumulate. As a result, they get on the mucous membrane during cleaning, leading to stomatitis and other diseases.
- Cavities. Damaged bristles are less effective at removing plaque from teeth.
- Injury to the mucous membrane due to deformation of the villi.
The fact that the service life has ended is indicated by damage to the pile, discoloration of the bristles, and just time. Using a used instrument leads to oral health problems.
What Happens if You Don’t Get a Replacement
Over time, the bristles of your toothbrush will weaken and begin to bend and curl in different directions. The expansion of the bristles affects their ability to remove plaque effectively. As a result, it accumulates, which leads to diseases of the teeth and gums.
While the temptation to extend the life of your toothbrush is great, you shouldn’t. Using it for too long will lead to serious troubles:
- Infection of soft tissues.
- Inflammation of the gum tissue.
- Uncomfortable/painful natural sensations when cleaning.
- Microtrauma of the oral cavity.
- Bleeding gums.
- The development of gingivitis, caries, periodontal disease, and other diseases.
- The development of systemic infections.
- The formation of dental plaque, calculus.
- Bad breath.
You should replace your toothbrush at least every three to four months. These tiny tools perform the essential task of keeping your teeth healthy.
Since the inception of Pitner Orthodontics, Dr. Leslie Pitner has helped several patients achieve a smile they are proud of. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us or visit any of our offices. You can also take advantage of our free virtual consultation.