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Replace your toothbrush if the bristles are frayed, bent, or twisted out of shape. Once the bristles are worn, your toothbrush won’t remove food and plaque as effectively as it did when it was new.
Both dentists and manufacturers recommend replacing a manual toothbrush every 12 to 16 weeks. Since electric toothbrush heads have shorter bristles, they also have a shorter lifespan of 12 weeks. Electric toothbrush bristles are also made out of nylon, which wears faster.
Here’s what else you need to know about replacing your toothbrush.
How to Take Care of Your Toothbrush
If you don’t take care of your toothbrush, you may need to replace it sooner.
When you’re done brushing your teeth, rinse the bristles with cool tap water. Then, shake off any clinging water droplets into the sink. Next, store your toothbrush upright with open access to air.
Do NOT place your toothbrush in an airtight container. This can lead to bacteria and mold growth.
If your family uses the same cup to store their toothbrushes, make sure that the heads don’t touch so you don’t swap bacteria.
If someone in your household gets sick (especially if they have strep throat), replace all the toothbrushes.
Toothbrushes for Small Children
When you first teach your child, they may gnaw on the bristles or handle. As a result, the toothbrush bristles can get bent out of shape sooner than usual. We recommend replacing your child’s toothbrush as needed so they always have the best protection from plaque.
Dr. Habecker can also help your child learn the best oral hygiene habits so they can maintain a healthy smile for life.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Toothbrush?
It’s normal for your toothbrush to wear over time. After all, you should be using that toothbrush two times a day for at least two minutes at a time. With that kind of use, the bristles will lose their stiffness over time.
If you use an old toothbrush, it won’t remove dental plaque and food as effectively as it did when it was new. As such, we may notice more plaque buildup during your next teeth cleaning appointment with us. Over time, plaque will harden into tartar and can lead to oral health issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
When youor toothbrush head, set a reminder for yourself to replace it in the future. This could be as simple as marking the day on the calendar app on your phone.
Request an Appointment With Dr. Habecker
Dr. Brenton Habecker is a respected family dentist in Holland, MI. As such, he’d be more than happy to answer your oral hygiene questions during your next visit with us. We can also recommend toothbrushes and other products to help you maintain a healthy smile.