Your toothbrush is an important tool you have, as it is the device you use to clean your teeth, but you might not realize how important it is to replace your toothbrush regularly. Replacing a toothbrush is a standard part of normal toothbrush maintenance, and here are three things you should understand about toothbrush maintenance.
The effects of using your toothbrush
When you use your toothbrush twice a day to brush your teeth, your toothbrush will eventually wear out. While the bristles on a toothbrush are strong, they do not last forever. They may start getting too soft after a while, or you might notice that they are too matted down. The bristles might also start extending in weird directions, making it more difficult to brush your teeth.
Secondly, worn-out bristles can actually damage your teeth and gums while you brush with them. Old bristles often become jagged, and this may be something you can notice just by looking at your toothbrush. When the bristles become like this and you use the toothbrush to brush your teeth, you might be putting too much pressure on your gums, and this could end up causing them to recede or become inflamed and irritated.
How often to change it
Most dentists will tell you that you can safely use a toothbrush for about three months. After that, though, you should get a new one. Toothbrushes are very inexpensive to purchase, and if you go to the dentist twice a year, you might get a free one at each visit. This would leave you responsible to buy just two more toothbrushes each year to keep up with the once every three-month replacement.
Other reasons to replace it regularly
Another reason to replace your toothbrush regularly is that a toothbrush can actually hold on to bacteria. If this happens, you will just be spreading bacteria back into your mouth each time you brush, and this is especially important to think about if you are sick. After suffering from a major cold or flu, you should change your brush just to reduce the risks of getting sick again from using an infected toothbrush.
When replacing your toothbrush, you should always look for one that has soft bristles on it, as this is the type most dentists recommend. If you have questions about toothbrush maintenance or anything else related to the health of your teeth, contact a dental clinic. Companies such as Ramtown Dental Associates can help.