When to Give Your Toothbrush the Brush Off

Under which circumstances would it be time for a new toothbrush?

  1. Someone used it to scrub the faucet.
  2. The bristles look like they’ve seen better days.
  3. It got dropped in the toilet.
  4. Your toothbrush is more than 3 months old.
  5. All of the above.

If you guessed number 5, you are right! Here are some tips for our Carmichael dental patients to recognize when it is time to change their toothbrush.

The Modern Toothbrush

Toothbrushes have been around for a very long time. Until 1938, toothbrushes were generally made with boar bristles. The first modern toothbrush was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush and it had nylon bristles. Although many styles of brushes are available, be sure to always purchase those with soft bristles that have the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA). Stock up when you see them on sale and assign every member of the family his or her own color.

Replacing Your Brush

When you begin to see wear on your brush or when the bristles have gone droopy, it is time to replace it. When you have dropped it in an icky place, it is time for a new one. If you cannot remember the last time you replaced your toothbrush, it is time to replace it. If your toothbrush is grossing you out for any reason, it is time to grab one from your stash and get a fresh start.

What Kind of Toothbrush Should You Use?

The best toothbrush is the one you will use regularly.

What is better, a manual or power-operated toothbrush? The best toothbrush is the one you will use regularly. If it takes buying your children Disney-themed brushes with sparkles and bling, buy the sparkles and bling. If you love the idea of a battery-operated model and that will make you brush with regularity, by all means get the one you will use. If plain old toothbrushes are your “cup of tea,” use your plain old toothbrush to help keep those tea stains away. Find a brand you like and stick with it, or jump around and try all the kinds the ADA approves. Just use your toothbrush a minimum of twice a day, brushing for two minutes every time you clean your teeth.

So whatever type of brush you like to use, always remember to replace it when it has seen better days. A toothbrush is not like your favorite shirt, sweater, pants or pair of shoes. Toothbrushes have been around for a very long time, but yours should not.

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