As you stand over your sink and ponder the frayed bristles of your favorite toothbrush, you may wonder whether the time has come to replace it. At Mason Dental, our answer is that if the bristles are frayed (and bent, too?), the answer is yes. No doubt about it.
And yet, too many of us (even here at the office) hang on to toothbrushes a little longer than we should. Like a good pair of jeans, it seems the more we use it, the more comfortable it gets.
As it turns out, that’s not a good thing when it comes to brushing your teeth.
The angle of the bristles on your toothbrush are an important part of cleaning. Straight bristles scrub your teeth and flex your gums. A light circular motion is enough to clean your teeth without causing damage.
Flat or frayed bristles are less effective and can even cause you to work harder. Pressing harder on your teeth can cause damage.
So how often should you change your toothbrush?
Anyone who has worried about changing the oil in their car has learned this basic rule of thumb; change your oil every three months. It’s the same with your toothbrush.
The American Dental Association suggests replacing your toothbrush “every three to four months.”
The reasons include worn bristles and bacteria. Worn bristles, as we have discussed, are less effective.
Bacteria build up in the small gaps of your toothbrush and may contribute to decay and bad breath. Make sure you keep your toothbrush in a sanitary location. Allow for good drying to help extend its life.
Regardless of how long it’s been, if the bristles on your toothbrush look like they’re trying to get away from each other, it’s time.