Your toothbrush should be replaced on a frequent basis. Its bristles can harbor bacteria, especially if it’s old or if you’ve contracted something like the flu. The general rule of thumb for replacing a toothbrush is to replace it at the beginning of every season. To help you remember, consider marking your calendar or setting a reminder on your mobile phone or e-mail four times a year.
What if I get sick?
Let’s say you catch a cold, the flu, or a stomach bug. You should replace your toothbrush because the pathogens that made you ill can live on the bristles of your toothbrush. It’s best to replace your toothbrush after your symptoms subside.
Can I sanitize my toothbrush?
There are some solutions available that claim to sanitize your toothbrush. While these solutions won’t necessarily harm your oral health, their effectiveness is disputed among some.
Besides, a toothbrush harboring bacteria isn’t the only reason to replace it. The bristles on brush heads fray and when they do, it can irritate the gingiva. A frayed toothbrush doesn’t clean teeth as effectively either, which means using frayed bristles can lead to plaque accumulation on top of irritation to your gums.
Should I rinse my toothbrush?
Yes, you should rinse your toothbrush after using it. Run your brush under hot water after every brushing. Be sure to store your brush upright and not in a closed container. A wet brush is a breeding ground for bacteria.
What should I look for when buying a toothbrush?
The oral care aisle in your supermarket or pharmacy can be overwhelming because there are so many varieties of products. To start, make sure that the brush you buy has the ADA seal of acceptance on its packaging for optimal quality. As for bristles, look for ones marked as soft. Firm bristles can lead to discomfort and gum erosion, especially if you brush vigorously.
Call the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow to schedule a checkup or cleaning with our dentist.