If you’re like most Americans, you probably only think to replace your toothbrush once the bristles are so worn down that they don’t seem to be doing much anymore. If this is the case, then this blog is for you! A used toothbrush can harbor up to 10 million germs and bacteria, and unless you want to brush your teeth with germs, you probably need to replace your toothbrush more frequently than you are now. Read on to find out exactly how often you should be replacing your toothbrush and why.
It Is Probably Time to Replace Your Toothbrush
Keep your toothbrush dry between uses
To ensure that your toothbrush lasts as long as possible, make sure to keep it clean. 10 million bacteria may sound like a lot, but these germs generally won’t make you sick. This is because your toothpaste contains anti-microbial properties and the organisms need moisture to survive. That means that so long as you let your toothbrush dry completely in between every use, you shouldn’t have to worry about compromising your oral health. After every use, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly, then store in an upright position so it will dry quickly.
So how often should you replace your toothbrush?
Dentists generally recommend that you replace your toothbrush every 3 months. This has less to do with germs and more to do with the fact that as the bristles wear down, they become significantly less effective. If you brush your teeth with a heavy hand then you may need to replace your brush more often. The rule of thumb is to keep an eye on the direction of the bristles: As soon as they start going different ways, it’s time to replace your toothbrush.
What should you do if germs really skeeve you out?
If the thought of 10 million germs hanging out on your toothbrush is enough to give you the heebie-jeebies, you can give yourself a little peace of mind by dipping the head of your toothbrush into mouthwash, a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide, or boiling water. Any of these methods will kill existing germs, but be sure to still dry your toothbrush thoroughly or they’ll just grow back. Never put your toothbrush into the dishwasher or microwave as this will just destroy them.
Get in touch with Park Dental today to make an appointment! It’s easy! Just call us at 301-599-0194, or use our contact form! We also offer affordable in-house dental plans for families, small businesses, college students, and individuals. Keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest for more oral health tips and information!