Sure, your toothbrush’s bristles are a little smashed down, but they are still white! You might wonder when to change your toothbrush. This is a struggle we have all been through. You only have one toothbrush left before you have to go to the store to buy another one. Your current brush is a little beat up, but you’re sure it’s getting the job done!
You’re probably not surprised to hear that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you replace your toothbrush about every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. But why?
Well, to put it as simple as possible, your toothbrush becomes less effective over time. This is because the bristles become frayed and bacteria will begin to grow in your toothbrush. This is why toothbrush maintenance is so important.
It’s important to note that your bristles are not antibacterial. Any harmful bacteria or viruses that you may leave behind on your toothbrush will stay there until the next time you put it in your mouth. Unfortunately, people may sometimes not change their toothbrushes for six months or more. This allows for ample time for microscopic bacteria to form small colonies within your bristles. If you aren’t so concerned about the bacteria, perhaps because you think “If it came from me, then it can’t be harmful.” Think again. Many toothbrushes are stored near other toothbrushes. This can allow for bacteria that entered your bristles when you were sick to travel to other nearby toothbrushes, especially if they are touching.
If you follow these two tips, then you will benefit from optimal toothbrush efficiency, as well as avoid the possible downfalls of a dirty brush.