Let’s be honest here…can you recall when you last changed your toothbrush? Most people can’t. And most people continue to keep on brushing with that same old toothbrush. If that’s what you’re doing, stop!
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you need to change your toothbrush every three months, four months max. The same goes for electric toothbrush heads. But those are rough guidelines because other factors can come into play that may mean you should change it sooner than that.
If it’s been less than three months and the bristles of your toothbrush look a bit worse for wear, it’s time to get a new one. Interestingly, many people keep on brushing with old toothbrushes. A dentist by the name of Keith Arbeitman in NYC said that most of his patients don’t seem to change their toothbrushes until he hands them a new one after their appointment.
When your toothbrush bristles aren’t at their best any longer, they’re not removing plaque as they should. Your teeth should have that slippery feeling to them after brushing. If not, toss your toothbrush and get a new one, ideally before you visit your dentist again.
But there’s another time that you should change your toothbrush, even if you’ve been diligent and replaced it every three months. Any time you get sick, it’s best to throw out your toothbrush and start fresh. Married or sharing a bathroom with another person? If they get sick and you use the same toothbrush holder, better err on the side of caution and get a new toothbrush too. With your toothbrush in such close proximity to theirs, you don’t want to take any chances.
If the thought of that makes you feel a bit queasy, there’s something else you should know about toothbrushes and keeping them sanitary. Studies have shown that particles from your feces can wind up on your toothbrush. Flushing your toilet with the lid closed is the best way to avoid this though if you’re gagging now, not to worry. Most of the germs coming from the commode won’t be harmful if you’re using toothpaste.
Again, the ADA offers some helpful advice. It advises you to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after brushing as well as before you begin brushing. You should always store your toothbrush in an upright position too so it dries properly. And something you shouldn’t do? Don’t ever use those toothbrush covers! They trap moisture which creates a breeding ground for bacteria.
So, now that you know all this, there’s probably little question as to how often you’re going to change your toothbrush from now on!
About The Author:
Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.