Many people wonder, so what if you don’t replace your toothbrush? Some may have never experienced any dental problems and didn’t care to replace them that often. But what’s in store if you’re one of them?
When it comes to cleaning and hygiene we follow some rules; dust two times a week, replace your bed sheets once a fortnight and throw out old makeup. We do care about the cleanliness around us, then why not care about oral cleanliness and hygiene too?
What in the case of your own toothbrush?
Ideally it is advised to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months according to ADA irrespective of whether you use manual or electric toothbrush. If you are using an electric toothbrush you don’t have to keep replacing or buying new ones. Electric toothbrushes come with replaceable brush heads which are easy to change and more convenient.
Its not just about keeping them clean
Firstly cleaning your toothbrush can be tedious and time consuming but also important. Not many people know how to keep their toothbrushes clean. Toothbrush bristles get frayed over a period of time, whether you use a hard, medium or a soft bristed toothbrush.
When you use a frayed toothbrush its cleaning efficiency gets compromised. Since the frayed bristles become angulated in a different direction, it now becomes difficult to clean and remove the plaque from each tooth surface and the left over food stuck between your teeth. Naturally the residual plaque causes irritation and inflammation of gums (gingivitis). Untreated gingivitis(gum diseases) progresses to periodontal disease(severe gum diseases) and sequentially tooth loss.
Research says new brush cleans teeth 95% better than the old one
If you continue using your old toothbrush for long time and store in a closed container or a toothbrush case , you are creating breeding ground for bacteria on your brush which may create mouth infections. We lack proper sterilizing methods at home which can get rid of these germs. Also, make sure that every family member stores their toothbrush separately to avoid bacterial transfer from their toothbrushes. So post covid its not just us but ideally our toothbrushes need to maintain social distancing too.
Lastly whenever you fall sick remember to change your toothbrush once you recover or it could lead to reinfection. It’s better to take precautions if you have a weak immune system or a compromised medical condition. According to Edita Outericka , DMD, at Dynamic Dental in Mansfield, MA :” Although bacteria and viruses can live up to 3 days on the toothbrush, your body should have built up the antibodies to fend them off and avoid a relapse”
Remember, your toothbrush will perform its job flawlessly only when it is in its best form.
- Older and uncleaned toothbrushes loose their cleaning efficiency over a period of time.
- Toothbrushes get frayed over a period of time and continuing using the same can hamper your cleaning efficiency.
- You are 3 times more prone to falling sick if you do not replace your toothbrush.
- You might be susceptible to more fungal and bacterial infections in the mouth.
- Toothbrushes start smelling over a period of time if you don’t clean them properly. This can also be one of the causes of bad breath.
- Remember to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months and after recovering from any sickness.