When to Say “Bye, Bye” to Your Toothbrush

By Montefiore Medical Center
June 15, 2016

Brushing your teeth is an engrained daily procedure that you likely don’t give much thought. In fact, when you brush you’re probably thinking more about making it to work on time rather than the condition of your toothbrush. But having a toothbrush that’s in good condition is key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The next time you brush, take a moment to consider if it might be time to retire your brush in favor of new one. To follow are some instances where replacing your toothbrush is in order:

  1. Worn bristles. If the bristles on your toothbrush splay in different directions and lack rigidity, it’s time to toss it. Another indicator is if there is toothpaste accumulation on your brush, which can host a great deal of bacteria.
  2. Bristles falling out. No working toothbrush should be this far gone. If more than a few bristles are falling out, it’s definitely time to trade it in.
  3. More than three months old. The American Dental Association recommends that you place your toothbrush at least every three to four months, even if the appearance of the bristles still look like they’re in good shape.
  4. Hard bristles. Long-term use of your toothbrush leads to hardening bristles, which can harm your gums and damage your tooth enamel. If your toothbrush bristles are hard, replace your brush with a new one.
  5. Travel. Bacteria grows in a moist environment, so it’s critical that you allow your toothbrush to dry fully to reduce the buildup of germs. When you travel, you likely store your toothbrush in a closed container. If it’s been in a confined enclosure immediately after being used for more than 24 hours, it’s best to throw it out to prevent bacterial growth. To cut down on bacteria, consider using a container with ventilation to help your toothbrush air out.

Want to learn more about maintaining good oral health? Contact the Montefiore Department of Dentistry.

For more information about any of the services we offer, please contact Drs. Kraut, Rogoff, Newsome and Kakanantadilok. Our office is located in the Bronx and can be reached at 888-700-6623. We look forward to meeting you!

 

Oral Health

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