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When was the last time you took a close look at your toothbrush? You may be brushing twice a day, but if your toothbrush is worn out (or worse, contaminated with germs), you’re not reaping the full benefits of proper oral care. Do your teeth and gums a favor, and take the time to learn when it’s time to switch to a new toothbrush and how to tell if you or someone in your family is using one that’s past its prime.
The American Dental Association recommends switching to a new toothbrush about every three or four months—sooner if the bristles are frayed. This is, however, a general recommendation, as individual factors may require you to do so more often. If you have braces, for example, the bristles of your toothbrush may become frayed more quickly, and therefore need replacement more often. Children’s toothbrushes typically need to be replaced more often than toothbrushes used by adults.
In some circumstances, you should replace your toothbrush even if the bristles are not visibly frayed. When you’ve been sick with a cold or flu, or have had a mouth or throat infection, sore throat, or a mouth sore, you should replace your toothbrush even if it’s new. Doing so will help prevent re-exposing yourself or others in your household to germs that could cause an illness.
It can be surprisingly tricky to find a toothbrush that’s a good fit for you, as there is a great deal of variety on the market. Here are some factors to consider:
There are some things you can do to help your toothbrush last a bit longer.
By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that you and your family are making the most of your at-home dental routine by properly caring for and replacing your toothbrushes. Make it easy by setting a calendar reminder to check each toothbrush every two or three months. Then get ready for praise from your dentist for taking such good care of your teeth!
Image via Flickr by oskay
Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY.
Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.
File #2017-47183 (exp. 10/19).
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