Your toothbrush is the most important tool you have at home to prevent common oral health issues, like cavities and gum disease. Although brushing is effective for keeping your mouth clean, simple mistakes can put your smile at risk of certain complications, like not changing your toothbrush on time. Research has found that more than 40% of people don’t change their toothbrushes enough. While it may not seem too concerning, you could be placing your oral and general health at risk. Not sure when it’s time to get a new toothbrush? Here’s what you need to know to keep your mouth and body healthy.
How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?
The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months unless the bristles are frayed or damaged. Whether you are using a manual or electric brush, worn bristles won’t clean your teeth effectively. Plaque and bacteria can remain on your teeth, which can lead to preventable issues, like tooth decay. Most dental professionals also recommend getting a new toothbrush after you’ve been ill, especially if you’ve had a cold sore or virus.
How to Choose the Right Toothbrush
The American Dental Association recommends brushing for 2 minutes at least twice daily, which means your toothbrush is going to get a lot of use. Although there are countless products on the market, not all toothbrushes are equal. Don’t leave your smile at risk by purchasing the wrong toothbrush for your smile. Here’s what you consider when shopping for a new one:
- Manual or Electric: Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective when used correctly. However, electric models offer more brush strokes per minute and offer various features, while manual options are more affordable.
- ADA’s Seal of Acceptance: Only use dental products that have earned the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance, which means they’ve undergone voluntary testing for safety and effectiveness.
- Choose Soft Bristles: Hard bristles don’t mean a better clean. They can do more damage than good by eroding your enamel and causing gum recession.
- Consider the Size: Look for a toothbrush that will fit the size of your mouth. If the brush head is too big, it can leave areas in your mouth uncleaned.
Although it’s recommended to brush in the morning and night, brushing after every meal will give you maximum protection against common dental issues. Don’t forget to use high-quality floss to clean between each tooth daily.
Invest in a Healthy Smile
Your home oral hygiene routine is your first line of defense to safeguard your dental health. Make sure you have the right products to protect your smile. Besides brushing and flossing, schedule an appointment with your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup.
About Dr. Jodi B. Meadvin
Dr. Meadvin earned her dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and continued her training to achieve her AEGD certification. She has regularly pursued higher education to provide advanced services. Dr. Meadvin strives to help each patient achieve their best smile through the power of prevention. If it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, contact our office today.