You may think that you’re taking good care of your smile by brushing and flossing daily between visits to your dentist, but if you’re using the wrong tools – like an old, worn toothbrush – you may not be getting all of the benefits from your oral hygiene routine that you need. Patients should rotate to a new toothbrush about every three to four months.
Keep in mind that this is just a general recommendation, and if you notice that the bristles on your toothbrush appear visibly worn sooner than that, it may be time for a change then rather than waiting until three months have passed.
Additionally, if you have been ill with a bacterial infection or virus, it’s best to switch to a new brush as to avoid re-exposing yourself to those germs. Also, children who are learning to master the technique of brushing their teeth may go through their brushes faster than their parents or older siblings do.
It’s important to remember that this guideline doesn’t apply to only manual toothbrushes. Electronic toothbrush heads suffer from wear and tear as well, so you should swap those out quarterly for new ones, as well.
If your dentist has pointed out that you’ve accumulated a fair amount of plaque despite keeping a robust oral hygiene routine, your toothbrush may not be in ultimate condition for cleaning your teeth. A worn toothbrush is much less effective at removing plaque from your teeth.
When making the decision to buy a new toothbrush, it may also be worth checking in with your dentist to make sure that your brush meets the standards necessary for an effective oral hygiene routine. Generally, a brush that has earned a seal of approval from the American Dental Association is a good choice, but you may want to consult with a professional to see if there are any special design features you should consider in your case.
Have you been using your current toothbrush for more than six months? It may be time for a change. Feel free to call our office if you have any questions or if it’s time to schedule your next dental exam.