One of the most common questions heard at an Edmonton dental clinic is how to tell that a toothbrush or electric toothbrush head needs to be replaced. After a period of time, toothbrushes become far less effective at removing plaque bacteria from the surfaces of the teeth. An old toothbrush can also become a breeding ground for bacteria, posing a risk to your health. At Azarko Dental Group, our Edmonton dentists would advise you to change your toothbrush if:
- The bristles are bent and frayed
One of the best indicators that it's time to throw a toothbrush out is when the bristles are bent and frayed. New bristles are designed to fleck away bacteria from the tooth surface. Worn out bristles, however, will simply bend when pushed against the surfaces of your teeth, scrubbing away far less bacteria.
- Your toothbrush looks discoloured
A discoloured toothbrush with debris near the bottom of the bristles which you are not able to remove is well past its expiration date. By this point, it likely isn't providing adequate brushing and may be harbouring bacteria as well. If your toothbrush is discoloured and dirty, you should dispose of it right away.
- It's been three months since you changed your toothbrush
Even if your toothbrush doesn't yet look too worn or discoloured, a good rule of thumb is to replace it at least once every three months. After three months, the bristles have likely lost their effectiveness and you'll be leaving more bacteria on your teeth after each brushing.
- Your toothbrush has been improperly stored
Your toothbrush needs to be placed upright, uncovered, and away from other toothbrushes after each brushing in order to dry properly. If your toothbrush accidentally leans against someone else's toothbrush, or if it is placed in a drawer or any type of enclosed container, then it's time to swap it for a new one. Likewise, if you are travelling and you find that your toothbrush has tumbled out of its case in your bag, then it should be replaced as well.
- You've recently been sick
It is very good practice to dispose of your toothbrush after you have gotten over an illness, especially if it was a bacterial infection such as strep throat. The bacteria can hide in the bristles and it is possible that you might reinfect yourself by using the same toothbrush. It is also a good idea to change your toothbrush after you have had any sort of mouth sore.
Get More Oral Hygiene Tips from Your Edmonton Dentist
Replacing your toothbrush on a regular basis is an important component of good oral hygiene, but there are a lot more steps you can take to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. At Azarko Dental Group, we make sure that all of our patients have the tools and knowledge to improve their oral health. To book an appointment with an experienced Edmonton dentist who can answer all of your oral health and hygiene questions, contact our Edmonton dental clinic today.
14938 Stony Plain Rd.
Edmonton, AB T5P 3X8