Do you remember the last time you replaced your toothbrush? While we are quick to throw out expired food and medicine, we often forget to replace our toothbrush on a regular basis. When it comes to optimal dental health, regularly replacing your toothbrush is crucial to your mouth’s overall health and wellness.
When to replace your toothbrush
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months. With consistent use, your toothbrush experiences normal wear and tear that eventually makes the brush less effective with time. According to recent studies, three months is when toothbrushes typically begin to see some bristle damage. If the bristles on your toothbrush are frayed, it might be time to replace it!
Fungus and bacteria can also develop rather easily along the bristles of your toothbrush, especially if it is not taken care of properly. In order to extend the longevity of your toothbrush and improve your overall oral health, make sure you rinse off your toothbrush thoroughly after use and store it upright, away from other toothbrushes. Replacing the brush regularly ensures limited exposure to both fungus and bacteria.
In addition to bristle damage and fungus, your toothbrush can also be exposed to countless germs during its lifespan. If you’ve recently been sick or exposed to someone else who is sick, it might be a good idea to toss the toothbrush, even if it’s been less than three months.
What happens if you don’t replace your toothbrush regularly?
As the bristles on your toothbrush become more and more damaged, you pose the risk of damaging your gums. As the bristles continue to fray and lose their effectiveness, you are more likely to develop a gum disease, like gingivitis.
Coupled with this, the build-up of fungus and bacteria on your toothbrush can cause mold to grow, as well as a host of other funguses you wouldn’t want to put anywhere near your mouth.
Not sure when you last replaced your toothbrush? That alone might be a sign that it’s time to get a new one!