It’s easy to know when to replace worn out shoes or faded clothes. But how often should you change your toothbrush? It all depends on your usage, health and preferences. Before you brush again, ask yourself whether its time for a new toothbrush. Here are some tips on how to make that decision.

When should I get a new toothbrush?

Replace toothbrushes every three to four months. Consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes. When in doubt, look at the bristles: if they are frayed, they won’t clean teeth as thoroughly. Because children often brush more rigorously than adults, they may need their toothbrushes replaced more often.

Why do I have to replace my toothbrush?

Your toothbrush is a nest for more than 10 million germs and bacteria. It is a breeding ground for various microorganisms. However, before you ditch your toothbrush, you should know that these tiny microorganisms arent damaging to your health, as long as you give your toothbrush some time to dry after each usage.

Also, after a certain period of time, bristles become fuzzy and unable to clean your teeth properly. Thats why you should replace your toothbrush with the new one in order to maintain the dental hygiene. Researchers have confirmed that a new toothbrush removes plaque more effectively than one thats worn out.

What are the types of toothbrushes?

There are two styles of toothbrushes to consider: manual and electric. Choose what feels comfortable for you, and makes you want to brush your teeth regularly. A manual toothbrush is portable and ready to use every time you need it. It makes no noise, and you will have complete control over the pressure it puts on your teeth and gums.

An electric toothbrush requires charging and is a bit more cumbersome to take along when traveling. However, the rotating movement of the bristles makes it easier to clean between teeth and at the gum line. Many electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors to make sure you brush long enough and don’t press too hard.

What is the best way to maintain a toothbrush?

No matter which type of toothbrush you use, keep it clean. TheAmerican Dental Associationrecommends rinsing the toothbrush under tap water after you brush to wash away lingering toothpaste and saliva. Then, store the toothbrush in an upright position, with the bristles positioned so they can air dry. Storing a toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, so it’s best to let the bristles of the toothbrush fully dry between each usage. If you’re traveling, consider using disposable toothbrushes during the trip.

How do I remember to make the change?

Some toothbrushes have bristles that change colors to indicate theyve worn out — a glaring reminder its time to buy a new brush. Often there is a blue section that youll see disappear as you continue to use the brush. The lower the blue gets, the closer you are to replacing the brush. You can also develop the habit of changing your toothbrush with every check-up (provided you see your dentist every six months) and then again midway before the next appointment. Or, try timing the change to the first day of every season.

How often should you change your toothbrush? Get into the habit of buying new toothbrushes for everyone in the family several times per year. How often you change your toothbrush depends on several factors, but it’s best to always have a new, fresh toothbrush waiting in the bathroom cabinet for each family member.

If you have any questions about when you should change your toothbrush, call Winning Smiles to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-332-2444.

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