How often should you change your toothbrush?

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Our mouths and teeth are a haven for bacteria and plaque and are often a reflection of our overall health. While our toothbrushes are a key element of maintaining good dental hygiene, you should take care to keep yours clean and replace them whenever necessary.

Brushing your teeth properly twice a day has been instilled in all of us from a young age.

However, as the saying goes, a workman is only as good as his tools, so if your toothbrush is on its last legs it’s probably time to switch it up and buy a new one.

Whether you choose to manually clean your teeth or use the help of an electric toothbrush, making sure the bristles are in good shape is key to excellent hygiene.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Oral B recommends “changing your toothbrush about every three months, and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you replace your toothbrush approximately every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.

“That’s because, no matter what type of toothbrush you use, its bristles can become frayed and worn and may lose their effectiveness.

“And clinical research shows that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than one that’s worn out, ensuring that your brush is working its hardest to help keep your teeth clean and healthy.”

Many dentists back this and recommend you change your toothbrush every three months or when your toothbrush starts to show signs of wear – whichever comes first.

Research shows that after three months of use your toothbrush is definitely less effective at removing plaque.

Not brushing your teeth correctly can also affect the wear of your toothbrush, as well as leaving your teeth more open to decay.

There are several signs your toothbrush is up for a change.

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These included splayed bristles and discolouration, and mean the toothbrush is probably not giving the intended benefits.

You should also change your toothbrush after suffering from an illness.

If you have recently had a cold, flu, or another viral disease such as coronavirus, you should change your toothbrush to avoid reinfection.

Viruses and bacteria can remain on your toothbrush even after you have finished using them.

If you also keep your toothbrushes in a pot with your family or members of your household, this can transfer to other toothbrushes, spreading the infection further.

If you want to clean your toothbrush between using it, you can use mouthwash to help keep germs at bay.

Pour mouthwash into a small glass, enough to cover all of the bristles.

Swirl the brush in the cup for approximately 30 seconds, then let it soak for a few minutes.

Be careful not to leave your toothbrush in the mixture for more than 15 minutes as this can damage the bristles.

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