You’ve probably heard about the importance of brushing twice a day to keep your teeth clean and healthy. However, brushing is only effective if you have a good toothbrush. If you’re brushing with an old toothbrush that has bent bristles, you might be doing more harm than good in your mouth. In addition to regular visits to your dentist in Las Cruces, brushes need to be replaced on a regular basis to maintain good dental health. Read on to find out when it might be time for you to replace your toothbrush.
When should I replace my toothbrush?
One of the first signs that a toothbrush is ready to be replaced is when the bristles go from upright to bent outward. In this condition, they can’t do a good job of removing food debris from between your teeth and underneath your gums.
Also, the bristles get worn down over time and lose their original rounded tips, becoming more jagged. These rougher edges can damage your gum tissue and potentially lead to gum recession.
Lastly, despite thorough rinsing and drying, there’s always the potential for bacteria to grow in between the bristles of your toothbrush. They can actually get pushed underneath your gums in the process of brushing, leaving you vulnerable to oral infections.
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months to make sure you’re using one that is in the proper condition to care for your teeth.
How do I care for my toothbrush?
Brushing gently is the best way to make your toothbrush last three months. Doing so will also prevent you from damaging your gums and enamel while still keeping your teeth clean.
There are additional steps you can take, such as:
- Thoroughly rinsing your toothbrush in tap water after you’re done brushing
- Storing your toothbrush vertically, leaving it exposed to air
- Letting your toothbrush dry completely before the next use
Are there alternatives to a manual toothbrush?
While a manual toothbrush can do a great job of cleaning your teeth, there are other options available. One common option is an electric toothbrush. These kinds of brushes use an oscillating brush head to clean your teeth.
Electric toothbrushes are generally going to provide you with a deeper cleaning that a manual brush. The vibrations caused by the electric brush head help loosen food and plaque that’s trapped underneath the gum line. Most of them also have timers built into them so you can be sure you’ve brushed your teeth for long enough. Just like manual brushes, you should expect to change your electric brush head around every three months.
Regular brushing is one of the best ways to keep your teeth clean between your regular dental visits. Replacing your toothbrush every three months will ensure that the time you spend brushing is always pleasant and effective.
About the Authors
Doctors Ramon and Natalie Ortiz are the husband and wife team behind Painted Skies Dental Center, a comprehensive family dental practice serving patients of all ages in Las Cruces. They enjoy providing patients with the information they need to keep their teeth healthy and vibrant. If you want to know more about how you can keep your teeth healthy at home, you can reach them through their website or at 575-521-8720.