Replacing your toothbrush, or even your toothbrush head, might not be on your to-do list. It might not be something you have thought about, even. Unless your toothbrush bristles have become flat and crinkled, the thought might not have crossed your mind to replace your toothbrush.

But what if we told you that you should be replacing your toothbrush, or your toothbrush head, way before the bristles reach the aforementioned condition. With this in mind, here is how often you should be replacing your toothbrush, together with the consequences of not doing so, how to find the right toothbrush for you and how to look after it properly.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

It is a general rule of thumb that you replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head once every three months, especially if you brush your teeth too rigorously. If you are not sure about whether or not your toothbrush needs to be replaced, then the bristles can give you all of the information you might need to make the right call.

If the bristles are frayed, then replace your toothbrush as soon as possible. It is important that you are replacing your toothbrush regularly so as to avoid bacterial infections due to unclean bristles, but it can also avoid tooth decay. If your bristles have become compromised, then it reduces how effective they are at cleaning the teeth and preventing cavities. Let’s delve into those consequences in more detail.

What happens if I don’t replace my toothbrush?

We have already touched upon the consequences of not replacing your toothbrush, briefly. So let’s take a closer look. A toothbrush with frayed bristles can mean that you are not cleaning your teeth properly. They won’t be able to get into all of the nooks and crannies that a brand new toothbrush would be able to reach. This increases the likelihood of food debris remaining there, thus rotting your teeth in the process.

Something else that could happen would be that you are leaving plaque behind, which can lead to gum disease if you don’t do anything about it. This is all because your toothbrush with an old head on it will become less effective at actually cleaning your teeth and sanitising your mouth as a whole, which includes the gums and the tongue.

A 2013 study claims that toothbrushes with frayed bristles lose their effectiveness over just forty days, with continued use, twice a day for those forty days. The same study found that those who did not replace their toothbrush on day forty experienced a significant amount of plaque buildup in comparison to participants who did replace their toothbrush on the fortieth day. To conclude, an ineffective toothbrush head has the potential to cause tooth decay and gum disease.

How to choose the right toothbrush

It is important that, when looking to replace your toothbrush or the head of your electric toothbrush, that you consider a variety of different things so as to ensure their effectiveness all round. While it might sound like an easy task, it is actually more difficult than you might think to find a toothbrush that is right for you and your dental needs. It all hinges on a number of different factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The number of teeth you have
  • Whether you have a crown or implants
  • If you have veneers
  • The size of your mouth
  • The amount of saliva you produce
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Yellowing or discolouration issues

When it comes to choosing a toothbrush, you should consider the type of bristles it comes with, because nylon bristles are often recommended by dentists because they are softer and will, therefore, protect your tooth enamel. You should also look at the size of the brush and the head. It needs to be long enough, but the bristles need to span wide enough to cover the tops and sides of your teeth, especially your molars.

You should also think about swapping out your manual toothbrush for an electric one, because they are much more efficient. They essentially do the work for you, provided you are using your electric toothbrush properly. Electric toothbrushes are also more eco-friendly when compared to their disposable, manual counterparts.

How to look after your toothbrush

It is important that you keep your toothbrush in top condition. This helps to ensure its effectiveness and efficiency for as long as possible, whilst also making sure it remains clean and sanctuary to use every single day, twice a day. Some of the things you can do to look after your toothbrush includes the following:

  • Letting your toothbrush air-dry in fresh air in between uses
  • Making sure the head of your toothbrush doesn’t come into contact with the head of another
  • Rinsing off your toothbrush after every use
  • Refraining from storing your toothbrush in a closed container
  • Not sharing your toothbrush with anyone else
  • Ensuring you do not clean your toothbrush had with mouthwash, soap or other disinfectants
  • Storing your toothbrush upright at all times

Quorn Dental Practice & Implant Clinic is pleased to offer professional dental services, including dental treatments and cosmetic dentistry, to patients throughout Loughborough and the surrounding areas. From dental implants and bridges to veneers and orthodontic procedures, you can count on us to deliver exceptional dental services every single time. For more information about our emergency dental appointments, cosmetic dentistry and more, get in touch with a member of our specialist team today – we are always pleased to hear from you.