Brushing your teeth is one of oral hygiene practices that people should follow on a regular basis. To brush your teeth well, you need a toothbrush and toothpaste. Dentists recommend that you should take at least seventy seconds to brush your teeth every day. With such regular brushing, it reaches a point when you need to replace the toothbrush. Staying with it longer than necessary is discouraged.
Toothbrushes can breed germs, fungi and bacteria. This is one of the reasons why you need to change your toothbrush after some time. The following answers how often you should change your toothbrush:
- After you experience mouth infection, cold or flu: Germs hide in the bristles of toothbrushes after you fall sick or have a dental condition. After you get better, these germs can still hide in these bristles putting you at a higher risk of getting re-infected.
- After three months: Dentists agree that you should have a new toothbrush every three months. Children’s toothbrushes should be replaced regularly. Toothbrushes also wear out. The bristles become loose and cannot reach the corners of the mouth. There are studies that show that they are ineffective after three months of use. They cannot remove plaque from gums and teeth effectively.
To ensure that your toothbrush is safe for use, make sure that it dries completely. You should always shake it well to remove the water and store it uprightly after use. You should invest in a toothbrush holder as this ensures that toothbrushes are well separated from each other and well aerated.
If one of the family members is suffering from a cold or flu, ensure that his or her toothbrush is stored away from other toothbrushes. Here are other ways to take care of toothbrushes so that they can be effective when you use them:
- Traveling: When traveling, it is important to protect the bristles of the toothbrush from getting moist or damaged. You can also invest in a toothbrush case. Ensure that you let the brush dry after using it.
- Never cover your toothbrush or store it in a container. This will encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi.
- Do not share your toothbrush. This increases the risk of mouth infections. When you exchange saliva with someone else, there is a higher chance of infection.
- Rinse your toothbrush well after use. You can use warm water for cleaning and also to remove dust and debris.