That toothbrush on your counter may have been sitting for a bit too long. There are a lot of factors in how often you should be replacing your toothbrush, but a lot of people leave it for far too long.

Many dentists hand out free toothbrushes merely because they fear that is the only time during the year when their patients replace them! Has it been a while since you replaced yours? Are the bristles bent back? It’s probably time to get a new brush. As a general rule, you should replace your toothbrush every three months if you brush twice a day. The rate at which you brush, however, does affect how often you need to replace your toothbrush. If you only brush once a day, then your toothbrush will last longer (though this is not an excuse to brushless often!) and if you are brushing too hard, then your toothbrush will wear out early. How fast your toothbrush is wearing out is actually a good indication of if you are brushing correctly or not. If your toothbrush is taking longer than three months to wear out, you are probably not brushing enough, or you are brushing with too soft a motion or for too short a duration. On the flip side, if your toothbrush is wearing out quickly, and if the bristles end up bent back upon themselves soon after purchasing a new brush, then you are brushing too hard. Even though it may seem silly, or embarrassing, you can get your dentist to correct your brushing, as not doing it properly can damage your teeth. Brushing your teeth too hard can actually be almost as bad as not brushing at all. This is because if you brush your teeth too roughly or too frequently, then you can damage your gums, make your teeth overly sensitive, and even wear down the enamel on your teeth. If you have to replace your toothbrush every month or so, then you need to start brushing softer. One of the reasons that it is essential to replace your toothbrush is because of the bacteria that can build upon it. If you store your brush upright so that it can dry out, then this should not be much of a worry.

If you get sick, however, it is always good practice to toss your toothbrush and everyone else’s toothbrushes in the household. This will keep others from getting sick. Protective caps over bristles also do not work to protect your brush, as bacteria have the opportunity to thrive. Simply leave your brush standing upright to dry, and you should be fine. Brushing your teeth is only part of the overall dental health puzzle. You need to floss as well, an equally important part, and go for regular cleanings at a rate recommended by your dentist (most people need to go twice a year).

For all your dentistry needs, the team at Dr. Jason Harvey’s dental practice can help! Whether you need a simple, twice a year, cleaning, or have concerns about a bigger nature we are here for you.   All credit goes to Dr. Jason Harvey


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