It’s morning and as you run through the usual routine, a thought occurs. Just how hygienic is your toothbrush – and is it really cleaning your teeth as well as it should? You try to remember when you bought it, and all you do know for sure is that it was quite a while back. It’s a familiar scenario. If this is you, you probably should get a new toothbrush today.
But what’s the general rule?
Before we launch into the whens and how oftens, it’s worth remembering that a toothbrush is a really cheap item that saves you a lot of money by acting as your number one weapon in the fight against tooth decay. Keep your defence strong with a good toothbrush. There are things it’s worth scrimping on, but toothbrushes aren’t one of them. When in doubt, make the switch.
The Rule of Thumb
To clean your teeth properly, your toothbrush’s bristles need to be nice and springy. A new toothbrush keeps bouncing back – but only for so long. As soon as the bristles begin to splay, you should be getting a new brush. As a rule of thumb, that’s usually every three to four months. If you use an electric toothbrush, you’ll switch brush heads with about the same frequency.
Signs You Should Change Your Toothbrush Now
Apart from the typical splayed profile that tells us a toothbrush is too old, there are additional reasons why you might want to consider changing your toothbrush right away.
- It’s uncomfortable to use in your mouth. Choose a toothbrush with a smaller head.
- It’s too hard. If your gums tend to bleed and even a softer brush doesn’t help, see a dentist.
- You have trouble learning the right brushing motion. A lot of people who think they’re brushing their teeth correctly, aren’t. If you couldn’t be bothered with learning a new habit, get an electric toothbrush.
Best Brands Don’t Mean a Longer-Lasting Toothbrush But…
It’s true. Buying the best brands does not mean you can use your toothbrush for longer. However, we recommend choosing a brand your dentist recommends. Escape the gimmicks. Miss out on the cheap knock-offs and get a decent toothbrush.
So, it doesn’t last longer, but it will be kinder to your teeth and gums. You can get one dollar toothbrushes. While they’re better than nothing, they’re definitely not the best option for your oral health.
What About Bacteria?
If you’ve been ill, it might be a good idea to change your toothbrush once you’re better. But most microorganisms won’t survive if your brush air dries properly between brushings. This brings us to two big don’ts. Don’t use plastic brush caps, and don’t place your brush bristles down in a container between brushings.
When It’s Not Your Toothbrush That’s to Blame
Most people don’t change their toothbrushes often enough, but even the best toothbrushes replaced on schedule can’t clean your teeth the way your dentist can. So while you’re thinking of a new toothbrush, also ask yourself when last you went for a full scale and polish to keep your teeth and gums healthy and your smile bright.