How long have you been using your toothbrush for? Does it matter? Yes, it does! Read on for Toothbrush care 101.
All dentists will tell you:
Dentists and oral health therapist will tell you to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes.
Why should I replace my toothbrush?
- Effective brushing – Are your bristles frayed? Worn and overused bristles will not clean your teeth as effectively. The flat surfaces may still look clean but the bristles can’t reach all the nooks and crannies.
- Bacteria – It’s safe to assume that everybody knows our mouths are full of bacteria. The moistness of a used toothbrush makes a perfect place for these bacteria to grow, making it more likely to transfer bad bacteria from the air into your mouth when you brush again.
- Reinfection – If you have a cold, the flu or a cold sore, some of the bacteria will remain on your toothbrush. You can rid yourself of the original infection, but the bacteria that remain on the brush can cause a new outbreak.
Other things to consider:
- Do not share your toothbrush – Sharing your toothbrush means you could be sharing body fluids/microorganisms with another person, placing you both at risk.
- Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use – Have you ever looked at your toothbrush and seen ‘bits’ stuck in it? Enough said!
- Do not cap your toothbrush – Covering your toothbrush with a cap or in a container creates a moist environment. Any moist environment is more conducive to the growth of microorganisms than the open air. Keep your toothbrush out in the open and in an upright position, and allow the it to air dry.
A note on children – Because children often brush more rigorously than adults, they may need their toothbrushes replaced more often.