Are You at Risk for COVID Teeth or Cavities?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you change your manual toothbrush every three to four months or whenever your toothbrush appears to be wearing out. Once the bristles begin to lose their stiffness, the toothbrush becomes less effective in scrubbing off food and plaque that builds up throughout the day, which can lead to cavities. If you have an electric toothbrush, follow the manufacturer’s instructions as electric toothbrush heads may have different guidelines.
Children’s toothbrush bristles often fray due to vigorous brushing. If you notice your child’s toothbrush is starting to fray (even if it’s before that three- to four-month mark) you should swap it out. This is also a good opportunity to remind them about proper brushing technique to prevent them from damaging their gums.
There are a few instances when it’s a good idea to swap out your toothbrush, even if you haven’t been using it for three to four months.
The human mouth is home to millions of bacteria and some of these germs can linger on your toothbrush well after you’ve brushed your teeth. These germs can travel to your toothpaste tube and could be transferred to other family members if you all share the same tube of toothpaste.
If you just got over an illness, it’s a good idea to toss your toothbrush. Replace any other toothbrushes that are stored near yours to minimize the chance of germs spreading from one brush to another.
It happens. If you know or think someone might have used your toothbrush, it’s a good idea to replace it with a new one. Everyone’s mouth is home to a special blend of bacteria, so it’s better not to mix toothbrushes with others.
If you brush with a heavy hand, this can wear down your toothbrush bristles and cause the brush to become frayed and ineffective. This often causes people to use even more pressure for the bristles to make contact with the teeth and gums, which irritates the gums. This can lead to gum recession and discomfort.
As we’ve mentioned, one of the clearest signs that you’re due for a new toothbrush is if the bristles are frayed or worn down. If the toothbrush bristles are no longer stiff and straight, it’s time to toss. Also be on the lookout for toothbrush residue at the base of the bristles or along the handle of the toothbrush. This toothpaste residue is a prime environment for bacteria to grow in.
After you replace your toothbrush with a new one, there are a few steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your toothbrush and keep it as germ-free as possible.
As you begin your teeth whitening journey, it’s important to prioritize your overall oral health to ensure your white teeth are healthy teeth. By swapping out your toothbrush after three to four months of use, making regular trips to the dentist, and brushing for the recommended two minutes twice a day, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy and glowing smile.