Invented in 1938 and containing approximately 2500 bristles – today’s toothbrush is a vital tool used to prevent dental decay and gum disease. Whether your preference is for the tried-and-true manual variety or you support the modern technology behind the effective electric toothbrush – both styles of brushes require correct handling to achieve the desired level of cleanliness, and both brushes experience wear-and-tear that necessitates regular replacement.
How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?
It seems that we live in an age of heightened disposability and upgrades – from our cell phones and laptops to contact lenses and toothbrushes – nothing lasts forever and in the case of your toothbrush, you really don’t want to keep it forever. Changing our toothbrush every three months is a good guideline to work with. Will there be times that you go a little longer and times that it ends up in your bathroom garbage after just a few weeks – absolutely. But if you’re looking at your toothbrush and thinking ‘I can’t remember the last time I changed this thing’ – then it’s time to throw it out and grab a new brush.
What Are The Signs a Toothbrush Needs Replacing?
NW Calgary Family Dentists at Ranchlands Dental explain that there are a few tell-tale signs that help you know when it’s time to change your toothbrush. Worn bristles that are flat and splayed indicate that you may have taken the brush for a few extra trips around your mouth – and ended up with less than clean teeth due to the misshapen bristles that are unable to sneak between teeth and clean deep grooves. Regardless of whether you’re using a manual or electric toothbrush – the head of the brush (bristles) wears over time which necessitates replacement. Manufacturers of electric toothbrushes acknowledge the importance of bristle performance and offer replacement heads in varying sizes and dental needs. Patients who are wearing orthodontic braces frequently benefit from using a slightly smaller headed brush – which can easily maneuver around brackets and wires.
If I’ve Been Sick Should I Change My Toothbrush?
On a good day there are over a million microbes lurking on a toothbrush. Now consider that you’ve just had a nasty head-cold which has imbedded another few hundred thousand germs in amongst the bristles – the chance of you re-infecting yourself with the same bugs you just worked hard to get rid of becomes a very real risk and one that can easily be minimized by throwing out the toothbrush you used during your illness. But if you switch-out your brush and you still have a low-grade sore throat – a trip to your family doctor is recommended.
One of the bonuses of maintaining regular hygiene appointments is that you are given a toothbrush that meets your oral health needs. If you’re overdue for a cleaning – contact Ranchlands Dental today 403.239.5212