As you stand over your sink and ponder the frayed bristles of your number one toothbrush, you may speculate whether you should replace it.
Hopefully, we are all brushing our teeth on a daily basis. And we hope parents are helping their children brush daily.
Like a good pair of jeans, it seems the more we use a toothbrush, the more comfortable it gets.
As it turns out, that’s not a good thing when it comes to brushing your teeth.
Angling for clean teeth
The angle of the bristles on your toothbrush is an essential part of cleaning. Straight bristles scrub your teeth and flex your gums. A light circular motion is enough to clean your teeth without causing damage.
Flat or frayed bristles are less efficient and can even cause you to work harder. Pressing harder on your teeth can hurt your gums and result in gum recession.
The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests you replace it “every three to four months.” At Russell Anderson Jr. Dentistry, we agree with the ADA’s guidance. However, if you or your child has a cold or flu, replace your toothbrush when the illness is over even if it hasn’t been three months.
The reasons to replace your toothbrush include worn bristles and bacteria. Worn bristles, as we have discussed, are less effective.
Bacteria can also be built up in the small gaps of your toothbrush and may contribute to decay and bad breath.
Let your toothbrush air dry
be sure to keep your toothbrush in a sanitary location. (Right next to the toilet isn’t a good place.) Allow for good drying to help extend its life.
Regardless of how long it’s been, if the bristles on your toothbrush look like they’re trying to get away from each other, it’s time to replace it. Otherwise, change your toothbrush at the start of every new season to keep it fresh and effective.
Are you looking for a friendly, experienced pediatric dentist? Doctor Russell Anderson has been serving Kennesaw area families since 1996.
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