Did you know that your toothbrush has a finite lifespan? It’s true; even the top-of-the-line electric brushes need to have their heads replaced regularly. After all, you do give it quite the workout and over time the bristles fray and fall out. Not only is using an old toothbrush a bit unappealing, but it can also harm your overall oral health. Because brushing — and flossing — is a significant component of your preventative routine, it is crucial that you use the proper tools to keep your smile happy and healthy. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist talks about the signs that indicate you need to replace your toothbrush.
Improve Your Brushing
While you surely know how to brush your teeth, it can still be helpful to refresh your technique; Indeed, over time, our muscle memory can slip, leading you to less efficiency and efficacy. To start, you should be brushing your teeth twice a day. If you eat a particularly sticky or sugary snack, it is also wise to brush afterward, so nothing lingers on your teeth, causing bacterial buildup. In this case, still brush in the morning and at night, as well.
When you brush, it is essential to do so for at least two minutes. We recommend setting a timer, so you can feel what two minutes actually feels like. Over time, it is common for our idea of two minutes to shift, leading to you brushing for less time. Moreover, you should floss at least once per day. Like brushing, if you eat a meal or snack in which food is getting caught in your teeth — looking at you, popcorn — floss afterward, so nothing is sticking around. Finally, even if you have immaculate brushing habits, be sure to continue visiting the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings.
When To Replace Your Brush
Typically, you should replace your toothbrush every three months. This holds true if you are using an electric brush or a traditional one. If you happen to brush more than twice a day, you will probably need to replace it sooner. In most cases, bristles start to fray and fallout at the three-month mark, so this is a good indicator that it’s time to throw yours out and start using a new one. In addition to fewer bristles leading to less effective brushing, bacteria will build up over time, and you certainly don’t want it going back into your mouth.
You should also replace your toothbrush any time you drop it or after you are sick. Your mouth is susceptible to bacterial and viral infections, so you want to tread carefully — especially in light of COVID. You should store your brush in a clean location with the bristles not touching anything.
Contact Us For More Toothbrush Tips
If you would like to find out more about caring for your smile and preventative care overall, then contact your Des Moines, IA, dentist, Dr. Burds, by calling 515-244-9565.