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There are many reasons why you may want to get a new toothbrush. Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush regularly so your brushing is as effective as possible, but many people put off doing so and end up using toothbrushes that don’t clean their teeth as well. Here’s how to know when you need a new toothbrush and what to look for when you buy one.
Is My Toothbrush Worn Out?
Toothbrushes aren’t made to last forever. In fact, the bristles are made to be used for only a few months, which is how often dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush. So if you’ve had your toothbrush for longer than that, it’s time for a new one! If it’s been less than 3 months and you’re seeing early signs of wear such as frayed bristles, an unpleasant smell, or if your teeth just don’t feel as clean as they used to after you brush, it’s time to replace it, too!
The best answer for how to know when you need a new toothbrush is, if it doesn’t work or look like it used to when it was new, throw it out and start with a fresh one!
Germs, Mold and More, Oh My!
Not only do toothbrushes wear out over time, but they can also harbor germs, mold and other icky things that you wouldn’t want in your mouth. Because toothbrushes often stay moist long after use, they are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold. If you’ve been sick, contagious germs can also hang around after using your toothbrush.
It’s true that your body develops antibodies to bacteria and viruses, but how many antibodies were produced and long they last can vary from person to person, so it’s always a good idea to keep your toothbrush as sanitary as possible and replace it regularly, as well as right after you’ve recovered from an illness.
Regular or Electric?
One of the first questions when shopping for a new toothbrush is whether to stick with a regular toothbrush or invest in an electric one. Both can clean your teeth, but we’re big fans of the new technology that electric toothbrushes now feature.
Not only do many have features like built in timers, blue light technology and ultrasonic vibrations to help ensure that you clean your teeth thoroughly every time, but some are also able to connect with apps on your phone to track your brushing habits and give real-time feedback to encourage good brushing habits, helping to make brushing both effective and fun.
While brushing with an electric toothbrush is more interactive, the greatest benefit is the vibration/movement of the brush head. With each swipe of the electric brush, you are able to remove more plaque than if you were to use a manual brush.
New Year, New Toothbrush Resolutions
One of the easiest ways to manage how to know when you need a new toothbrush is to schedule it on your calendar. Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 months, so set a reminder on your phone for when the date nears. It’ll take one more question off your mind and ensure your effort to take good care of your teeth by brushing well is always rewarded with the best results.
Call our Memphis, Jackson, Oakland or Bartlett dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.