Monday, May 24, 2021

Throw Your Toothbrush Away

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important ways you maintain your oral health. However, if you are brushing your teeth with an old or dirty toothbrush, you might be doing more harm than good.

At Kelly Orthodontics, we recommend that you switch out that old toothbrush for a fresh new one every 3 to 4 months and even more frequently if you are wearing braces because your toothbrush becomes less effective once the bristles begin to wear down. Also, bacteria tend to build up on your toothbrush over time. Therefore, to stay in good health and ensure you are brushing successfully, it is important to replace your toothbrush after three months of use.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t keep a record of the last time you switched out your toothbrush…and that’s okay…we have some easy ways to tell if your toothbrush is ready to be replaced.

1. Do the bristles on your toothbrush look worn down or frayed? Check out the bristles on your toothbrush. Damaged bristles are not going to do the best job of cleaning your teeth. Therefore, if they are looking worn, it is probably time for a new one.

2. Have you been sick? While your toothbrush is used to clean your teeth, it is not immune to the accumulation of bacteria. If you’ve been sick, those germs can linger on your toothbrush. It is always a good idea to swap out your toothbrush after dealing with an illness.

3. Have you traveled lately? If you have visited another country or a new place where the water is not safe to drink, it is likely time for a new toothbrush to avoid getting sick.

4. Do you store your toothbrush correctly? When storing your toothbrush, you want to ensure you leave it in a place that is clean, dry, and allows airflow. Therefore, you shouldn’t be keeping your toothbrush near the toilet or in the shower, and you should not store it in an airtight case. Otherwise, your toothbrush could become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. If you have been storing your toothbrush incorrectly, toss it and replace it with a new one that you can hang in an upright position so it can dry out between brushings.

If you feel like changing your toothbrush every three months is wasteful, we’ve got a solution. Put that old toothbrush to work doing odd jobs around the house. Old toothbrushes are great at cleaning around facet fixtures and in tile grout. They can even be used to clean tools, computer keyboards, and tennis shoes.

 

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