If you’re like many of our patients, chances are you may be hanging on to that well-worn toothbrush just a bit too long. Replacing your toothbrush on a regular basis is necessary to get an effective, fresh clean and to limit harmful bacteria in your mouth. Following are 6 reasons to replace your toothbrush.
1. You’ve used it for 3+ months
Most toothbrushes have about a 3-month shelf life. Even if they don’t look particularly broken down, it’s important to switch up your brush approximately every season to keep your smile bright.
2. The bristles are worn
If the bristles are worn, they are not doing their job. They can’t get in between teeth or those hard to reach places at the back of your mouth if they’ve lost their strength and shape.
3. You’ve been sick
If you’ve just gotten over a flu or other contagious virus, replacing your toothbrush is a must. Those harmful germs could still be lingering long after you’ve bounced back and you could be risking reinfection.
4. You dropped it
Dropping your toothbrush on the floor (or elsewhere in the bathroom) will instantly and undoubtedly cover it in bacteria (some potentially harmful). There’s no 5-second rule here! Replace the brush.
5. You’ve been traveling
If you’ve been traveling to a location with any risk of infection, or throwing your toothbrush in an open cosmetics bag for the duration of your trip, best to replace your toothbrush when you arrive back home to avoid any foreign contamination.
6. Someone else has used it
While we definitely don’t recommend sharing toothbrushes on a regular basis, sometimes (in a pinch) your spouse, significant other, or child may have to use yours. It’s a good idea to replace your toothbrush as soon as possible after this. Despite your close relationship, the germs they are carrying could have a negative effect on you.