Brushing twice a day is a vital part of good oral care. However, the type of toothbrush and the state of the toothbrush are as important as the frequency of brushing. Attempting to brush with a worn-out toothbrush or a dirty toothbrush can cause more harm than good to a patient’s oral and overall health. It is imperative that our patients replace their toothbrushes regularly to optimize their oral care regimen.
The Dangers of Overused Toothbrushes
Toothbrushes with frayed and bent bristles are far less effective at cleaning teeth. The warped bristles do not reach the teeth’s surfaces properly, leading to more areas for harmful bacterial to thrive. Millions of bacteria can build up on a toothbrush; although routinely cleaning a toothbrush can keep harmful bacteria under control, there will come a time where a damaged or overrun toothbrush could lead to a bacterial infection.
When to Replace Toothbrushes
The ADA recommends that people replace their toothbrushes every three to four months. Patients whose toothbrushes show frayed bristles or other signs of heavy wear should replace their toothbrushes immediately. Some types of toothbrushes have color-coded bristles; when the bristles lose their color, this is a visual indicator that the patient should buy a new toothbrush. Patients who fall ill from a communicable disease are also advised to replace their toothbrushes after the illness subsides to reduce the spread of the illness. Patients with compromised immune systems should change their toothbrushes every one to two months to reduce the chances of infection. Toothbrushes for children should be changed every 2 to 3 months due to children’s’ tendencies to chew on toothbrushes or brush improperly.
If you have questions about when to replace your toothbrush or which toothbrush is best for you, call our office for a consultation. We are here to help!