Brushing Up On Your Oral Hygiene: 4 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Toothbrush

Most people understand the importance of brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist. These tasks will reduce your risk of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Unfortunately, you may not realize you are brushing with a toothbrush that is actually doing more harm than good. While shocking to learn, there are an estimated 7,000 different strains of bacteria in the human mouth. Although meant to remove this bacteria from your mouth, brushing with an old toothbrush is not as effective. In addition, brushing with damaged, uneven bristles may scratch your tooth enamel and even irritate your gum tissue. To prevent these problems, replacing your toothbrush periodically is imperative. Here are a few key signs it is time for a new toothbrush:

Frayed Bristles

One of the most obvious signs that you need a new toothbrush is if the bristles are frayed. The ends of the bristles may appear torn and jagged. You may also notice the entire brush head of bristles is bent out of shape, as well.

Brushing your teeth with frayed, uneven bristles will not effectively remove food particles, plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the mouth. If you notice the bristles are damaged, replace your toothbrush immediately.

Missing Bristles

With constant use, the bristles may fall out without you even realizing it. However, if you can see that the head of your toothbrush is actually missing bristles, it is time for a replacement.

Without a full head of bristles, the toothbrush will not clean your teeth and gums as intended. Be sure to replace with a new toothbrush that offers a full head of soft or medium-soft bristles.

Hard Bristles

Your toothbrush bristles are most likely made out of a nylon or polyester material. Over time, these materials will harden. Although a natural occurrence, brushing your teeth with hard bristles will do more harm than good.

Using a toothbrush with hard bristles can damage enamel, increasing the risk of stains, cavities, and decay. Also, harder bristles can scratch and irritate your gum tissue. You may notice light bleeding during and after brushing when using an old toothbrush.

It Is Old

Lastly, if your toothbrush is old, replace it! Of course, you may not realize what constitutes "old" when talking about toothbrushes.

Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, but you should replace it earlier if you are noticing one of the above signs.

Brushing is key to your dental health, but brushing with an old toothbrush can wreak havoc on your oral hygiene. Use this guide to determine if it is time to invest in a new, healthy toothbrush.

Contact a dental office like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock for more information and assistance.