Does your toothbrush need to be replaced?
The Today Show recently discussed six common household items that likely need to be replaced more regularly than we usually do. They discuss more frequent replacement of mattresses, running shoes, kitchen sponges, bath towels, eye makeup, and your toothbrush. For our purposes today, we will discuss when to replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head for electric brushes) and why it is important.
Many people only replace their toothbrush when they come in for their semi-annual cleaning and exam. It is easy and convenient to do because we always send you home with a new toothbrush. However, every six months is usually not frequent enough. We typically recommend a new toothbrush every three or four months. As the brush head becomes frayed it is less affective, and for most brushing styles this is a good time frame. If you are ever unsure how often you should replace yours, we recommend you bring in your toothbrush for us to examine.
Toothbrushes can be a mechanism for bacteria or viruses to spread. After having a cold or the flu, we recommend replacing your toothbrush. Even though your body should have developed resistance to that particular type of illness, your family may still be susceptible. If you share a toothbrush holder, a sink, or even bathroom with anyone else it is a good idea to start fresh after you are feeling better.
If you check your toothbrush and the bristles are dramatically flared, don’t hesitate to get a new brush. It is a few extra dollars but can save your teeth, gums, and protect your family’s health in the long run.