Regular brushing and flossing are two things you can do at home to contribute to a bright and healthy smile. Regular brushing and flossing removes debris from your teeth and helps to prevent tartar and plaque buildup. This healthy habit contributes to healthy gums and can help prevent periodontal disease and cavities. But did you know that you should change your toothbrush every three months? Dentists agree this is one of the easiest steps you can take to have a healthy teeth and gums. Here are some compelling reasons to change out your toothbrush at regular intervals.
Normal Wear and Tear
After about three months the bristles on your toothbrush are not as effective at cleaning your teeth. While you may think your toothbrush is working just fine but after a few months it quits being effective at removing plaque from your teeth and gums. It also is not able to get into all of the nooks and crannies of your mouth and clean your teeth and gums as well as a new toothbrush. The bristles become dull and out of place and are not able to do their job properly.
Studies have shown the typical toothbrush can harbor up to 10 million bacteria. Don’t panic though; you can prevent this from happening by taking care of it properly. Always rinse the bristles thoroughly after use and store it in an upright position and let it air dry. You can also soak your toothbrush in mouthwash or a solution of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide to help sanitize it. Once you have soaked it for about 10 minutes rinse it with clear water, place it in an upright position, and let it air dry. You may also want to place a cover over the bristles to further protect your brush from contamination.
You’ve Been Sick
If you’ve had a cold or the flu you will need to change out your toothbrush. Bacteria and viruses can live in the bristles and reinfection can result you if you do not change out your brush after you’ve been sick. If you or a family member is sick be sure your family’s brushes don’t touch each other. This can also lead to cross contamination and reinfection. Make it a habit to dispose of your toothbrush after a cold or flu and replace it with a new one.
Signs It is Time to Replace Your Toothbrush
Three months is just a general guideline. If you have a heavy hand when brushing you may need to replace your brush more often. When you notice the bristles are beginning to get bent out of shape it is time to replace it. Also if your toothbrush shows obvious signs of wear and tear or becomes dirty it is time to replace it. Use common sense to know when it is time for a new brush, but a general guideline of three months is agreed upon by most dental health experts.
Your oral health is important. Regular brushing and flossing can help you have a health smile and healthy gums. In order for your oral hygiene habits to be effective you need a toothbrush that is in good shape, clean, and contributes to your oral health. If you have any questions about when to change your toothbrush, or any questions about your oral health, please call us at 512-263-7896 or contact us today. At Lakepointe Dental we want you to have the best smile possible and we’re here to serve