Your toothbrush is your first line of defense against common oral health issues, like tooth decay and gum disease. While it is made of durable material, it won’t last forever because it will undergo daily wear and tear. If you don’t replace your toothbrush often, it can lead to unfortunate news next time you visit your dentist in Long Island City. Here’s how often you should change your toothbrush to safeguard your smile.
Change Your Toothbrush Regularly
The American Dental Association recommends switching your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months; however, it should be replaced sooner if the bristles are frayed. If the bristles become damaged, they lose their effectiveness. Harmful plaque can linger in your mouth, and you’ll have to work harder to keep your teeth clean. According to a 2013 study, toothbrushes used beyond 40 days are less effective and cause considerably more plaque buildup, which can lead to gum disease and cavities.
Replace Your Toothbrush After an Illness
Your toothbrush can harbor bacteria and viruses that can lead to illness. It’s best to throw your toothbrush away after you’ve been ill to avoid getting sick again. It’s also a good idea to toss it if you’ve recently had a cold sore. Never try to disinfect your toothbrush by sticking it in the dishwasher or microwave. Your dentist also advises against using disinfections to sterilize it.
Replace Electric Toothbrush Heads
If you use an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one, the bristles can wear out more quickly. The bristles are often shorter and rotate quickly, which can cause them to break down. You may need to replace the toothbrush head about every 12 weeks to ensure your brushing routine is effective.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
There are many toothbrushes on the market, but not all will be right for you. Here are a few simple tips to make the best decision for your oral health:
- Decide on a manual or electric toothbrush.
- Look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
- Choose one that has soft bristles.
- Ensure the toothbrush head accommodates the size of your mouth.
- Pick a comfortable brush handle.
With the right tool for the job, your dentist recommends brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes in the morning and at night using a nonabrasive toothpaste. Don’t forget to clean your tongue and the inside of your cheeks to remove bacteria.
Promote a Healthy Smile
Besides your oral hygiene habits at home, your smile also relies on routine care from a dentist. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. If you have any questions about the dental products you’re using, ask your dentist for advice during your appointment.
About Dr. Hayley Bindner
Dr. Bindner treats patients of all ages through a focus on prevention. She earned her dental degree from Boston University and completed her residency in general dentistry. She provides the personalized solutions patients need to reach and maintain optimal oral health. If it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, contact our office today for an appointment.