When to Change Your Toothbrush or Brush Head

 In oral health

Your toothbrush or toothbrush head probably requires a replacement before you thought it would. Of course, you could wait until your toothbrush is obviously worn and frayed, with splayed bristles sticking out in every direction… but will it keep cleaning your teeth until it reaches that point?

The answer to that is “probably not as well as it should.” Even brushing with a worn-out toothbrush will be better than no toothbrushing at all, but if you’re aiming for the high road to health, it isn’t the best way to go.

Springiness Matters!

Brush bristles should have a certain springiness is they’re to be effective at removing plaque from your teeth. Just as we lose some of our ability to “bounce back” as we age, so toothbrush bristles aren’t able to keep their springiness when they begin to get old.

Your brush or brush head may not be showing any visible signs of aging, but is it still as springy as it once was? Chances are, if it has a few month’s duty behind it, it isn’t!

It’s Too Hard

Choosing a brush that’s too hard is a mistake that a lot of consumers make. “Ok,” we say, “so, we have to clean our teeth. Let’s give them the hardest scrubbing ever!”

There are problems inherent in this thinking. Firstly, you might choose a brush that’s so hard it wears down the enamel that’s meant to protect your teeth from decay. Secondly, you might find your hard-bristled brush uncomfortable to use. You know you need to brush right up to the gum line, but the hard brush proves uncomfortable to use so close to the gums.

If your brush already has this problem, it’s time you switched – not because your brush is worn out, but because it’s so hard it’s damaging your teeth and gums.

You Just Had a Nasty Case of Flu

Your mouth is full of microbes and not all of them are a bad thing – but if you just had a nasty dose of flu, you’re looking at the possibility of reinfection via your toothbrush. After all, you kept your oral heath routine up to date despite your illness. Do you want to resist reinfection? It might be a good time to switch your toothbrush just for safety’s sake.

Electric or Old-Style?

Just as everyone agrees that fresh, new toothbrush is more hygienic and does a better job than an old one, so everyone agrees that electric toothbrushes clean your teeth more effectively.

Consider making the change. Brushing your teeth will be so much easier, and instead of concentrating on your technique, all you need to do is make sure the brush gets to all the corners of your mouth.

Periodic Professional Cleanings

No mater how religiously you refresh your toothbrush or how thoroughly you brush, seeing a dentist or oral hygienist for a proper scale and polish is the ultimate clean your teeth need from time to time.

Be sure to ask your dentist for his or her opinion on your tooth brushing habits next time you have a check-up – and make sure that happens within six months of your last dentist’s visit. Ready to make your appointment? Call us now.

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