“Replace your toothbrush every three months,” is a time-worn piece of advice you have heard time and time again. Is it really the best guideline, though? A 2018 study on toothbrush usage shows that bristle wear is a better indicator for toothbrush replacement than time.
We each have a unique set of tendencies when engaging in oral hygiene routines: where we keep our toothbrushes, brush time, flossing habits, how hard we press, etc. These tendencies mean that each of our toothbrushes wears a bit differently. Because our brushes wear differently from one person to the next, we need to pay closer attention to the state of our toothbrushes. Three months for one person’s toothbrush can look entirely different from another’s.
A toothbrush is ready to be replaced when the bristles are splayed out, which means they are not standing straight up anymore. Your toothbrush may also have color-wear bristles. In that case, the manufacturer recommends replacing the brush when the color has worn off of them.
Why You Should Replace Your Brush
When the bristles are splayed, the brush is no longer reaching all of the areas between your teeth. This leads to plaque buildup on your teeth, especially in those hard-to-reach areas. In turn, plaque buildup can lead to cavities and tartar buildup. Damaged bristles can hurt your gums and scratch your teeth, negatively impacting your overall oral health. Old brushes also harbor bacteria. These germs can make you ill and contribute to poor oral health. Left untreated, these issues can lead to gingivitis and other serious health problems.
Which Brush Do You Choose?
Choose a brush that has soft bristles. Hard bristles seem like a good idea, but they can damage your tooth’s enamel. You should be comfortable with the brush head on your toothbrush. There are many features available for toothbrushes, but these are the most important to ensure the best care for your mouth.
Whatever brush you choose, be sure to replace it when the bristles start to show wear. Also, come in for your regular visits, so we can help you maintain your oral health.