When was the last time you got a new toothbrush? If you can’t remember, that’s not a good sign. While about 42% of people don’t switch out their toothbrush as often as they should, that doesn’t mean you should keep using the same one for years on end. It might not seem like a big deal, but not changing your toothbrush often enough can spell disaster for your oral health. Let’s look more closely at what happens in your mouth if you don’t change your toothbrush regularly.
How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?
Most dentists will agree that you should change out your brush every three to four months. Do it sooner if the bristles appear frayed or worn down, because then they won’t quite do their job as effectively. Also, change out your brush after you have been sick, whether it was a cold, the flu, or a bacterial infection. Otherwise, the germs on your brush could re-infect you after you recover.
What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Brush Often Enough?
One of the most common issues among people who don’t switch out their brushes as frequently as they should is bad breath. This is because, when the bristles of an old brush become frayed and worn, they don’t clean your teeth as efficiently. As a result, more bacteria linger in your mouth and leave behind a foul-smelling waste product that affects your breath.
Worn-down bristles can also contribute to eroded enamel. Enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth. It’s actually the hardest substance in your body. However, it’s also inorganic, which means it can’t grow back once it has eroded away. Frayed bristles can wear down your enamel, leaving you more susceptible to sensitivity as well as cavities and gum disease.
How Can You Make Sure to Change Your Toothbrush Regularly?
One suggestion would be to buy your toothbrushes in bulk. That way, you can set a reminder on your calendar and, when it’s time to switch out your brush, you won’t have to make another trip to the store.
Additionally, you could consider ordering a toothbrush subscription service like Quip, which will send you a new toothbrush head and battery for their electric toothbrush every three months.
Swapping out your toothbrush regularly is one of the easiest things you can do to benefit your oral hygiene. Just make sure to do it on time, before your bad breath reminds you first!
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Following that, he completed a one-year fellowship in prosthodontics (the creation and placement of artificial teeth) at the same university. In 2012, he became Board-Certified eligible in prosthodontics. He is dedicated to delivering the highest standard of care to his patients in the Orange Park, FL community, and that includes preventive care with at-home oral hygiene. To learn more tips on taking care of your teeth at home, visit Dr. Nawrocki’s website.