Good oral hygiene is key to oral health. Do you ever think about your toothbrush? Turns out, you probably should because regularly replacing your toothbrush is pretty important for your oral health. Here, we’ll explain how often you should replace your toothbrush, how you can maintain your toothbrush, and the kind of toothbrush you should be using.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. For those who are aggressive brushers, you should change your toothbrush out even sooner. This is because worn and frayed bristles cannot brush and clean your teeth as thoroughly as those on a fresh, new toothbrush. A frayed toothbrush bristle can’t reach in between or in those hard to reach places as well as the stiff bristles can. It is also very important to replace your toothbrush after you’ve gotten over a cold because bacteria can cling to the bristles on your toothbrush and this can lead to you getting sick all over again.
Now that you know when you should be replacing your toothbrush, let’s discuss what kind of toothbrush you should get. There are two types of toothbrushes that you may be thinking about buying: manual and electric. Both have their positives and negatives. For example, electric toothbrushes can give you a very thorough clean without you really having to do much of the work. The downside though, is that they are much bulkier and can often be expensive. With manual toothbrushes, you can carry them everywhere and they are very affordable. Their con is that, while you can control the pressure and motion of your brushing, it can be harder to more thoroughly brush those difficult to reach places. Either brush is fine to use and all that matters is that you feel comfortable with the toothbrush you select and feel you are getting a thorough clean with it.
While it’s important to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, you want to ensure that you are doing everything you can to make your toothbrush last as long as possible so you aren’t always replacing it. The ADA suggests rinsing your toothbrush with tap water after you brush so that the saliva or toothpaste that’s left on the bristles is washed away. It’s also important to store your toothbrush upright so the bristles can air dry well, and to store it away from the toilet because being too close can put your toothbrush at risk for being exposed to bad bacteria and germs. Finally, don’t store your toothbrush in a closed container because that could lead to bacteria building up on the toothbrush.