Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months is an important step in your dental hygiene routine that’s often overlooked.
The basics of dental hygiene are pretty easy to remember. Most of us know that we should brush our teeth twice a day, floss once daily, and visit the dentist at least twice a year. But there’s another step in your routine that’s often overlooked — replacing your toothbrush.
A good toothbrush is the key to effective brushing, which is why every dental patient should know when it’s time to throw a toothbrush out. For non-electric toothbrushes, experts recommend replacing your toothbrush every three to four months to keep it fresh and clean. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Should You Change Your Toothbrush?
The goal of brushing is to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth, preventing tooth decay. Brushing also helps to remove small particles of food that get stuck to your teeth, which can attract bacteria and cause bad breath.
The age of your toothbrush is directly related to how effective it is at cleaning your teeth. Because your toothbrush bristles become weaker and less hygienic over time, changing your toothbrush is an important step in maintaining good oral hygiene.
The most important reason to change your toothbrush is to keep the bristles stiff and intact. When the bristles on a toothbrush are new and stiff, they are much more effective at wiping away the particles that can lead to tooth decay. New toothbrushes also have bristles that are closer together, which makes them more efficient at cleaning your teeth.
As you continue to use a toothbrush, the bristles on your brush can become mashed, crooked, and farther apart from each other. After three to four months, the effect of frequent brushing can reduce your toothbrush’s effectiveness significantly. Fortunately, by changing your toothbrush regularly, you can stay on top of your dental hygiene.
When to Change Your Electric Toothbrush Head
Electric toothbrushes have the same goal as traditional toothbrushes — to remove plaque and food particles from the surface of your teeth. Electric toothbrushes are unique because they use automatic vibrations to rapidly rotate the bristles back and forth for optimal cleaning.
Because electric toothbrushes move their bristles faster across your teeth, they also wear out faster than manual toothbrushes. Every electric toothbrush has a different lifespan, so your best bet is to read the instructions for your specific toothbrush to determine when to switch out the head.
As a general rule of thumb, when you notice your bristles are beginning to look smashed up — and your toothbrush feels like it’s slipping and sliding against your teeth, instead of providing friction — it’s probably time to replace the head. Finally, to prevent bacteria from growing on the brush, make sure to rinse and dry it thoroughly after each use.
Maximizing the Potential of Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush is only effective when its bristles are stiff and dense. Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months is a commonly overlooked step in your dental routine, but a new toothbrush can make your daily brushing much more successful.
For more tips on keeping your smile healthy, request an appointment at Espire. With our experienced dentists and friendly environment, we can help you figure out exactly how to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Visit our website today — your smile is too important to wait!