As you likely know, brushing your teeth twice a day, along with flossing and using mouthwash, is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth. These all come together to create the at-home component of practicing preventative care. While you are aware of the importance of brushing regularly, you might not know how often you need to replace your brush. In today’s blog, your Leawood, KS dentist discusses the signs that indicate it is time to start using a new one.
Refresher On The Basics
As noted above, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. If you’ve just eaten a particularly sugary or sticky snack, it is also advisable to clean your mouth an additional time as well, so nothing lingers on your teeth. You should brush for at least two minutes and follow up with floss at least once a day — typically in the evening. You may think you are hitting two minutes, but if you haven’t timed yourself in a while, set a timer on your phone, to make sure your instinct of what two minutes feels like is correct. If it isn’t you can keep using a timer until you get a natural feel for this duration. Overall, maintaining a regular routine is essential for practicing effective preventative care, along with twice-yearly checkups and cleanings.
When You Need A New One
As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your toothbrush every three months — whether you use an electronic one or not. It is important to stick to this timeframe because bacteria and food particles accumulate, and you do not want to keep reintroducing them to your mouth. Beyond this period, you should regularly inspect its bristles to see if they are fraying, falling out, or generally losing their structural integrity. Of course, if you find yourself brushing three times a day, you will need to replace it more often. Overall, your efforts will go a long way in preventing the need for more serious procedures down the road like dental fillings for cavities.
Other Reasons You Need A New One
A major additional reason to swap it out is if you or a member of your household has been sick — especially viral or bacterial infections. Similar to food getting caught, you do not want these pathogens making their way back into your mouth. Following the same train of thought, it is also essential to store your toothbrush with its head not touching any others. After you are done using it, make sure you rinse it off with water and then let it air dry. Do not use any sort of container, as this can cause mold to grow and bacteria to accumulate. Ultimately, you will be in good shape if you just inspect it regularly and replace it every three months or when the bristles begin to fray — whichever occurs first.
Contact Us For More Preventative Care Tips
No matter your dental needs, we are here for you. Schedule an appointment and contact Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS by calling 913-681-5500 to learn more today.