How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

What if the germiest item in your bathroom was your toothbrush? It could be, especially as flu season rages on. That’s why you should take care to periodically replace your toothbrush and those of your family members.

The American Dental Association recommends replacing toothbrushes every three months, or more often if the bristles are bent. If they’re not straight, they’re probably not making good contact with the surface of your teeth.

If you share bathroom space with one or more other people, you need to be even more careful. That’s especially true if you store a cluster of toothbrushes together. Or if you’ve been sick, in which case you must replace your toothbrush immediately.

If one of you is sick and the bristles touch, you’re likely to swap germs the next time you brush your teeth. Little kids are even more negligent when it comes to trading bacteria strains this way. After all, they have no problem sneezing into each others’ faces, so they’re unlikely to be too squeamish about letting toothbrush bristles touch.

There is some good news in the toothbrush hygiene front. If you store yours with bristles up and exposed to the air, as many of us do, you don’t have to worry much about bacteria. Your bristles might catch the germs in the bathroom environment, but the cooties will likely die in the open air. In fact, you’re better off storing your toothbrushes out in the open like this than by keeping toothbrushes capped in plastic tubes. When you do that, you’re creating an incubator for germs.

However it is that you store the family toothbrushes, the important thing is to replace them regularly–at least every three months, and more often than that if you’ve been ill or the bristles are damaged. They’re not doing your smile much good if they are.

Looking for a great dentist in the Charleston area? Trident General Dentistry is now accepting new patients. So call today to schedule and recieve your complimentary toothbrush at your hygiene appointment.