Your toothbrush is your friend. It greets you in the morning, and the last thing you see before going to bed; it is also one of the most important tools in maintaining healthy teeth. You feel happy and energized after using it. It may be the most personal and intimate instrument in your personal hygiene arsenal, which is why proper care is vital.
Regular maintenance ensures that your mouth stays healthy, which is why dentists suggest that you change your toothbrush every three months. A simple method that will help you is imagining a toothbrush for every season. For example, replace your toothbrush every winter, summer, spring and fall.
Now, the three-months rule is standard, but sometimes other factors can affect the frequency with which you should replace a toothbrush. If you have a strong hand and rigorous stroke, you’re more likely to wear out the bristles faster. Dentists recommend replacing the toothbrush when the bristles point in different directions, because that reduces its effectiveness. New toothbrushes have been proven to remove more plaque than old brushes with frayed bristles. Imagine trying to cut anything with a dull blade—the same principle works with your toothbrush. When a tool loses its effectiveness, it’s time for a replacement.
Replacing your toothbrush after an illness is another exception to the three-month rule. Would you drink out of the same bottle if it were the same one you used while sick? In most cases, you’d have to be guaranteed that the bottle undertook some serious sterilizing precautions before you even thought about using it again. Replace a toothbrush after sickness because the illness-inducing bacteria can remain on the bristles.
According to researchers, it has been scientifically proven that millions of germs and bacteria can live on your toothbrush at a single moment. Although this may be alarming to some, all toothpaste has antibacterial ingredients that diminish the risk of illness or other infection. As long as you care for your toothbrush and replace it regularly, there’s no reason to be concerned.
Caring for your toothbrush when it’s not in use will ensure that it lasts the entire three months. As mentioned above, germs live on the bristles—most of which is killed by antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash. However, they thrive in moisture. Placing your toothbrush upright and allowing it to dry between usages will reduce the need to replace it.
Proper care and regular replacement ensures a happy, healthy mouth, and in the scheme of things, replacing a toothbrush every three months is much more affordable than any trip to the dentist.