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When Should I Change My Toothbrush?

July 3, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lapalcodental @ 3:16 pm
a young man brushing his teeth using a manual toothbrush while standing in front of the mirror

Is your toothbrush looking a bit frayed? Do the bristles appear to lay flat? Can you not recall the last time you bought or replaced your brush? If you are wondering, “When should I change toothbrushes,” you’re not alone. Most people don’t know the typical lifespan of a normal brush or why it should be replaced at all. If you are one of these individuals, a local dentist shares why it’s necessary to trade in the old one for a newer version and how often this should be done to avoid future dental problems and even illness.

What is the Standard Timeline for a Toothbrush?

The quick and easy answer is 3 to 4 months. Here’s why: The American Dental Association (ADA) has maintained this timeframe for decades. The reason is that a toothbrush is not designed to last a lifetime or even 6 months! While this may seem unfortunate, the reality is that you are using this device twice a day for two minutes each time. Along the way, it picks up a lot of bad bacteria that may not be thoroughly removed each time you rinse off the remaining toothpaste.

Toothbrushes can carry germs, viruses, and bacteria for days or even weeks, and each time you insert it into your mouth, those same particles living on the bristles are transferred back onto your teeth and soft oral tissues. Not only can this raise your risk of gum disease and tooth decay, but it can also cause you to become sick, especially if you used your toothbrush during a time in which you were fighting the cold or flu.

Alternative Toothbrush Options

If you’ve been using a manual toothbrush for years and hate the idea of throwing these away every 3-4 months, you might consider trying an alternative cleaning solution – the electric toothbrush. Instead of throwing out the entire device, you need only to replace the brush head. Not only does this reduce the amount of waste you are producing, but there are other benefits to choosing an electric over a manual toothbrush, such as:

  • Many come with a two-minute timer, so you are guaranteed to not brush longer than necessary, thus, keeping the bristled in better shape
  • They don’t require as much effort or pressure, keeping you from brushing too hard and potentially damaging your gums and toothbrush bristles
  • These devices are much easier to use for individuals with braces
  • They can be more effective at removing plaque accumulations than a traditional toothbrush

The next time you go to brush your teeth, consider how long it has been since you replaced your current toothbrush. If you can’t remember the last time you purchased a new one, maybe it’s time you do so. Your dentist is available to help with recommendations should you need help in finding the right brush for your smile.

About the Author
Dr. C.J. Landry attended Nicholls State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He then went on to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans. Graduating in 1982, he immediately opened Lapalco Family Dental and has been serving families in Marrero ever since. With more than 30 years of dental practice experience, he and his team strive to provide patients with quality care every time they walk through the door. From comprehensive dental services to dedicated patient education, he and his team are here to help all individuals achieve happier, healthier smiles. To find out more about what Dr. Landry can do for you, contact us at (504) 348-0080.

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