Your toothbrush is at the center of your oral health routine. When is the last time you replaced yours?
The average American changes their toothbrush only 1-2 times a year. Yet, according to the American Dental Association (ADA):
- Toothbrush bristles should always be relatively straight or be just barely bent
- Toothbrushes should be changed every three months
- Toothbrushes should be replaced after you recover from a cold
At Davenport Dental Group in Laredo, TX, we strive to make sure we are doing everything we can to help our patients maintain good oral health. That includes keeping our patients informed about ways they can maintain or improve their dental habits.
Is It Time to Replace Your Toothbrush?
Sometimes a toothbrush will need to be replaced less than three months after it was first used. If you know what to look for, you can spot the signs that your toothbrush is ready to be replaced.
Many toothbrushes have indicators that tell you when they are ready to be replaced. Typically, the toothbrush will have a few rows of blue bristles. You should replace your toothbrush when that blue color fades.
Some electric toothbrushes also have an indicator that will tell you when it is time to replace the brush bead. If you have an electric toothbrush, read the instruction manual so you know what to look for.
Why You Should Replace Your Toothbrush
If a toothbrush is used for too long, the bristles begin to wear out and fray, making the toothbrush ineffective in the fight against bad bacteria. Replacing your toothbrush several times a year will:
- Remove up to 30 percent more plaque than with an older brush
- Protect gum tissue from damage caused by frayed or worn bristles
- Help you avoid harmful bacteria that can build up on an old toothbrush
How To Keep Your Toothbrush Clean
Your toothbrush is regularly exposed to bacteria that can cause health issues such as the flu virus, cold sores, and ear, nose, and throat infections. To better protect your toothbrush from germs and keep it as clean as possible, make sure to:
- Store your toothbrush vertically, in an open, dry area
- Store your toothbrush separate from other toothbrushes to avoid cross-contamination
- Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use in warm, not hot, water
See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups
In addition to replacing your toothbrush at least every three months, seeing your dentist regularly is an essential part of a complete oral health routine. As long as you follow the steps to maintain good dental hygiene, we recommend coming in for a checkup every six months.
During your time with us, we can provide additional information on maintaining good oral hygiene, and give your mouth a complete, professional cleaning that even the best toothbrush can’t provide.
As a leading dentist in Laredo, TX, we are excited about and ready to provide all your dental needs. Call us at 956-242-6745 (Junction Drive) or 956-517-2695 (Winfield) or contact us online to schedule an appointment or to ask any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.