Is it time to replace your toothbrush?
Good oral hygiene is essential, and regularly replacing your toothbrush is an important aspect of maintaining it. The mouth houses approximately six billion different bacteria, including beneficial microbes and harmful ones like bacteria and fungus. As a result, your toothbrush can accumulate millions of germs. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your manual toothbrush every three to four months, and electric toothbrush heads may require replacement even sooner, after one to two months.
It's crucial to replace your toothbrush immediately if you've been sick, regardless of whether it's been three to four months. Signs that indicate you need a new toothbrush include discolored or falling-out bristles, bristles that are bent or lose stiffness, and reduced effectiveness in removing plaque. A 2013 study revealed that bristle flaring occurs after 40 days of consistent use, making your toothbrush less effective. Some toothbrushes feature built-in indicators that change color to signal when it's time to replace them.
While washing or disinfecting your toothbrush can help keep it clean while in use, it won't prolong its lifespan. Running it under hot water before and after use can help release trapped toothpaste and food particles. Soaking your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash for 30 seconds can disinfect it. Ultimately, replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if necessary, is the best way to maintain good oral hygiene and avoid accumulating harmful germs.
Here are some tips to take care of your toothbrush:
• Store it in an upright position.
• Let your toothbrush air-dry after each use and avoid storing it in closed containers, in order to prevent bacteria growth.
• Never share toothbrushes.
• If your toothbrush is in a shared holder, make sure it's not touching another toothbrush.
For more information, read this article at Real Simple.
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