Your toothbrush is one of your best friends in your battle against gum disease and tooth decay. The twice-daily cleanings it provides help to vanquish harmful plaque and bacteria. Unfortunately, though, your toothbrush will not remain effective indefinitely. Periodically replacing this tool helps you to maintain a clean mouth and protect your oral health. But just when should you buy a new toothbrush? A holistic dentist is here to discuss some indicators that it is time to toss your old one and invest in a new one.
Signs Your Toothbrush Is Done
The American Dental Association recommends that everyone replaces their toothbrush every 3 – 4 months. However, that is not a hard and fast rule. More frequent replacement is necessary in some cases. For example, you should throw away your toothbrush if:
- The bristles are frayed. Frayed bristles are much less effective at cleaning than fresh, straight bristles. (If your toothbrushes tend to become frayed very quickly, that is a sign you apply too much pressure when you are cleaning your teeth.)
- You recently recovered from an illness. Bacteria can linger your toothbrush and even transfer to your family members’ toothbrushes if you store them close together.
- Your toothbrush is uncomfortable. If the bristles make your gums bleed, or it is difficult for you to hold your toothbrush, you should invest in a new one that is easier and more comfortable for you to use.
Shopping for a New Toothbrush
When you head to the store to shop for a new toothbrush, do not simply pick up the first one you see or the one with the lowest price. You should choose one that will benefit your oral health to the fullest extent possible. An effective toothbrush:
- Has soft bristles. Soft bristles are more flexible than hard bristles and thereby provide greater cleaner power. They are also gentler on your gums.
- Has a fairly small head. Smaller toothbrush heads are easier to move around the mouth and provider a more thorough clean than larger heads.
- Is efficient. While both manual and electric toothbrushes are good at cleaning teeth, electric brushes are much more efficient. In fact, they can deliver thousands of strokes per minute. Many people also find that electric brushes are easier and more enjoyable to use.
If you would like personalized help to pick out the right toothbrush for you, your dentist or dental hygienist would be happy to give you a recommendation.
Is it time to replace your toothbrush? If it is, be sure to choose one that will help you enjoy a truly clean, healthy, and fresh smile.
About the Author
Dr. William Langston is a holistic dentist in Sunnyvale. He has been practicing for over 40 years, ever since he graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry. He cares deeply about his patients’ oral and overall health, and his philosophy on dental care places a heavy emphasis on prevention. If you would like his guidance on how you can maintain a clean, healthy smile, contact our team at 972-270-6533.