Unlike shoes or clothes, toothbrushes don’t show obvious signs of wear, which makes it hard to know when you should replace them. Is there a standard for how often a toothbrush should be changed? The answer really depends on the individual. How often do you use your toothbrush, what is the state of your health and what do you personally prefer? Next time you brush your teeth, think about whether it is time to get a new toothbrush.
When to Get a New Toothbrush
The standard rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. If you have been sick, it is a good idea to replace your brush immediately, especially if you keep it near your family’s toothbrushes. The bristles of your toothbrush are a good indicator if it is time for a replacement. If they look crushed and flat, they won’t clean your teeth properly. The harder you brush, the more worn your toothbrush becomes. Children often press their toothbrush into their teeth harder than adults, so they often need new toothbrushes sooner than the 3 to 4-month rule indicates.
Types of Toothbrushes
When it comes to toothbrushes, there are two basic types to consider: manual or electric. Both are good, so choose the style you are most comfortable with so you will brush your teeth on a regular basis. Manual brushes are more portable and easy to use anywhere. They don’t make noise, and the user is able to control the pressure placed on his or her teeth and gums.
An electric toothbrush isn’t so simple. It must be charged and is usually a little bigger and heavier than a manual toothbrush, which could be an issue when traveling. The rotating bristles of an electric toothbrush make the job of cleaning between teeth and at the gum line much easier. Some electric toothbrushes have built-in timers to help you brush the recommended amount of time.
Maintaining Your Toothbrush
Whether you choose an electric or manual toothbrush, it is important to keep it clean. The American Dental Association recommends that after brushing, you rinse your brush under tap water. This washes away leftover toothpaste and saliva and the germs associated with both. Once rinsed, you should always store your toothbrush vertically with the bristles in a position to air and dry out.
If you store your wet toothbrush in a closed container, thinking this will keep it clean, you could actually be causing bacteria to build up on your brush. It is a much better idea to let the bristles dry completely between uses. This isn’t always possible when you are traveling, so it is a good idea to take disposable toothbrushes when you go on a trip.
Deciding when to change your toothbrush has a lot to do with personal preference, but you should try to change out your households’ toothbrushes several times a year. Stock up on extra toothbrushes so when you are ready for fresh bristles, you always have a new toothbrush available. Contact Wright Orthodontics today to schedule your free consultation!