You care about your teeth, and you want them to look their best and be their healthiest, but do you know exactly when you should be changing your toothbrush? You may be diligent about brushing twice a day, but if you’re using an old, worn out brush, you might not be getting the full benefits of your dental hygiene routine.
Brushing is Good, but Ensuring Your Brush is Clean Makes It Better
It’s an unfortunate, and frankly yucky, reality that the thing we use to clean our teeth and whiten our smile can harbour a wide variety of bacteria (approximately 10 million). And, we’re not talking all friendly bacteria either – think about the gross kinds that can cause stomach aches and infections. Also, and rather unpleasantly, your beautiful mouth is also a breeding ground for countless strands of bacteria.
So, what does this bad combo of bacteria mean for you and your oral health? It means, every time you brush, it’s essential to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with hot water to remove bacteria and any leftover lunch that may be clinging to the bristles. And, it doesn’t end there, you need to replace your toothbrush regularly to fight off this invisible army.
Other Tips for Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean
This may not be what you want to hear, but don’t keep an uncovered toothbrush within three feet of your toilet. When a toilet is flushed, there’s a possibility that some water particles will enter the air and they may be carrying some luggage you definitely don’t want to put in your mouth.
As much as you love your spouse, avoid sharing toothbrushes. Different people carry different types and amounts of bacteria in their mouths, so just get a separate brush and share other things – like happy memories.
Your toothbrush needs to breathe, so don’t keep it in an airtight case or in a damp space. That way, your toothbrush can fully dry after each use, which reduces the likelihood of bacteria buildup.
So, When Do You Need to Toss Your Old Toothbrush?
The rule of thumb is approximately every three to four months, but if your brush begins to look worn or the bristles start to fray, then it is time to throw it away. Another thing to remember is that if you’ve just been sick, get rid of your toothbrush. Otherwise, you are just reintroducing those unhealthy bacteria back into your mouth.
Want to learn more about orthodontics and how to keep your dental hygiene routine up to par? Contact Foley Wilde Orthodontics for reliable, honest and friendly orthodontic advice.