Dr. Jim Ellis, DDS, a board certified registed Ogden dentist, provides a detailed answer on the question, “How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?” Brushing your teeth regularly will help you maintain a beautiful and healthy smile. Taking proper care of your toothbrush and replacing it frequently can play a very important role in oral hygiene. Over time, toothbrushes can become infested with bacteria, germs and fungus, which can build up to reach significant amounts. The germs come from your mouth and can accumulate in the bristles of your toothbrush. Even a brand new toothbrush may contain bacteria because the packaging has not been sterilized. Toothbrushes can also be less effective at removing plaque from the teeth and gums once the bristles become frayed.
It is recommended by the American Dental Association that a toothbrush is replaced every three to four months. However, most people only replace their toothbrush only once or twice a year. Some toothbrushes come with colored bristles that fade or change colors to let you know when it’s time for a new toothbrush. Replacing your toothbrush is also recommended after you have had a flu, a cold, a mouth infection and even a sore throat. A child’s toothbrush may need to be replaced sooner than an adult’s toothbrush.
Some electrical toothbrushes have better brush heads than the disposable ones, and may only need to be replaced every six months. If you have any signs of gum disease, it is recommended by your dentist in Ogden, Utah that you get a new toothbrush every four to six weeks as the bacteria can live in the bristles. Always rinse your toothbrush thoroughly in hot water after each time you brush your teeth. Also, let your toothbrush dry itself out between uses by storing it in an upright position. Try to keep your toothbrush from touching other toothbrushes to prevent the spreading of bacteria and germs.
There are several ways to keep your toothbrush clean during the three to four months that you are using it. Some advise that you use sanitizers and hot water. Check the labels of all sanitizers to assure that they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration before using them, and watch out for products that claim to do more than sanitize your toothbrush. Contact your Ogden dentist if you have any additional questions about toothbrush care.