You may think your toothbrush is self-cleaning. After all, it is used several times a day along with toothpaste and water. This is not the case. Dental professionals and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control suggest you change out your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. This includes the heads used for your electric toothbrush.

But what really happens to your toothbrush as you use it?

Your toothbrush and its bristles are weakened every time you use it. The flaring that occurs makes those bristles less efficient and this could lead to plaque buildup. The germs that accumulate on the toothbrush while it is working to clean food and bacteria from your mouth can lead to bigger problems as you continue to use it.

These are the signs that it is time to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head:

The Bristles are Missing or Have Lost Their Shape

Your toothbrush bristles are starting to bunch and curl. When your bristles are straight and able to get into the cracks and crevices between the teeth, they are best able to do their job. Over time, you lose bristles and they start to curl up, making them less effective at removing the food and plaque from your teeth. This happens in about three months into the life of your toothbrush.

Your Electric Toothbrush Nylon Bristles are Fraying

The nylon bristles on your electric toothbrush head are starting to fray and curl. The rotating that electric toothbrush bristles use to clean your teeth becomes less effective if the bristles are curling up. They need to be just as straight as a manual toothbrush’s bristles to get the job done, especially since they are often shorter than the ones you find in your manual toothbrush. These heads should be changed out when you see signs of wear, this is usually at the three month mark.

An Illness in the Home

If you have been ill, take that opportunity to change out the toothbrushes of the entire household and start with fresh brushes brush once you have recovered. Especially in the case of viral and bacterial infections.

Simply Because They Are Kids

Let’s face it, kids’ toothbrushes will probably need to be changed more often. They often chew on their brushes, touch the sink and counters with them and do a host of other things that only kids can come up with. We often have no idea what the little ones do with their toothbrushes when we turn our heads. So, change these out and it may be best to store them up high.

  • Ensure that you take good care of your toothbrush to lengthen its life.
  • Everyone in the home should have their own toothbrush.
  • Store your toothbrush upright
  • Keep the heads of toothbrushes apart when they are not in use.
  • Make sure you fully rinse your toothbrush with water.

To make sure you and your family are making the best decisions for your dental health, discuss the best type of toothbrush for every member of your family with your dentist. Dr. Stephen Coates and his dental team in Long Beach, CA will be able to give you tips and information on caring for and replacing your toothbrushes.

Make an appointment today! Call us at 562-434-6414 or request an appointment here.