Out With the Old and In With the New

Heather K. Burch Orthodontics

The toothbrush is your number one oral hygiene accessory.  We all know that toothbrushes help keep your teeth and mouth clean...but do you know how long you should keep a toothbrush?

It is recommended that you switch out that old toothbrush for a fresh new one ever 3 to 4 months. Replacing your toothbrush is essential since they are constantly being exposed to germs and bacteria. If you notice the bristles of your tooth brush have become worn that's a clear sign you need a new toothbrush. 

People who wear braces should change their toothbrushes frequently because braces break down and fracture bristles which makes the toothbrush lose its effectiveness.

It's helpful to keep a pack of toothbrushes available in the house at all times for easy replacement. 

Now, you may be thinking…”My toothbrush is fine, I have it broken in just the way I like it.” Maybe that’s true, but did you know that your old toothbrush could actually be harming your mouth?

3 Reasons to Change Out Your Old Toothbrush:

1. Bacteria - Your toothbrush is a tool for removing bacteria from your teeth…but it doesn’t actually kill bacteria. Some of the bacteria from your teeth stay on your toothbrush after you are done brushing. Now, this isn’t a problem initially, but imagine three to four months of bacteria build up on your toothbrush. That old bacteria ridden toothbrush is in your mouth at least twice a day…yuck.

2. Bristles - Like any tool, a toothbrush wears down. Worn bristles are tough on your enamel and can wear it away over time. Not only that…an old, worn toothbrush can be up to 95 percent less effective at removing plaque.

3. Illness - Always change your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, even if it’s not “technically” time to switch out your toothbrush. Don't forget, germs and bacteria from your teeth and mouth stay on your toothbrush after you are done brushing.

Feel like changing your toothbrush every three months is wasteful? We’ve got a solution. Put that old toothbrush to work doing odd jobs around the house. Old toothbrushes are great at cleaning around facet fixtures and in tile grout. They can even be used to clean tools, computer key boards and tennis shoes.

So mark those calendars for every 3 to 4 months so that you can ensure that it's out with the old and in with the new.

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