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Time to Toss Your Toothbrush?

added on: July 15, 2015

JulyToothbrushHow long has your toothbrush been in use? Is it past its prime? Is it time to toss it in the trash and invest in a new one? At my dental office in St. Joseph, these are important questions that we’d like to provide some answers to.

Toothbrushes are designed to remove as much plaque, tartar, and bacteria as possible. They’re also designed to last a specific amount of time. The older the toothbrush, the less effective it will be. So, just how long can you expect your toothbrush to still be good at its job? What are some signs of an old, outdated, ineffective toothbrush?

Its Time is Limited

According to the American Dental Association, a toothbrush should only be used for about three or four months. Any longer and it will begin to show signs of wear and tear, and it won’t remove all of the dangerous particles hanging around. An ineffective toothbrush equates to an ineffective at-home oral health routine, which could create serious problems.

Signs You Should Toss It

As a toothbrush ages, there are some obvious signs that will show it’s time to toss it. Many key indicators are found in the bristles. Keep an eye out for:

  • Fraying
  • Flattening
  • Crisscrossing
  • Discoloration

If you notice any of these signs, head to the store and pick up a new toothbrush. Your teeth with thank you.

Proper Toothbrush Care

Once you have your new toothbrush, there are ways you can extend your time together.

  • Rinse thoroughly after each use
  • Never share your toothbrush
  • Let it air dry

Just remember, even if you’re taking optimum care of your toothbrush, it won’t last forever. Always check it for signs of aging.

Having and using an effective toothbrush at least twice a day, every day, is only half of what we recommend for a healthy mouth. The other half is maintaining regular visits at my St. Joseph dental office. Professional cleanings remove plaque and bacteria that even the newest toothbrush can’t. For a happy smile, make sure you’re doing both.

Welcoming patients from St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, and South Bend.


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