(how often should you change your toothbrush?)
Reminders! – alarms on phones, watches, cookers, clock radios, to-do lists, technical reminders on our computers, even service providers such as dentists, garages and insurance brokers – all remind us that it’s time to make an appointment, or take some form of action.
However, the humble hardworking toothbrush, be it manual, electric or rechargeable, actually gives us its own visual reminder every single day and night, when we brush our teeth, and yet it’s often overlooked! It’s all in the bristles!
Like anything else in life, using something on a daily basis, will wear out. A toothbrush is exposed to water and chemicals from toothpaste and twice daily use, is inevitably going to take its toll.
The bristles on a toothbrush weaken, bend and twist in different directions (the posh name for this is bristle ‘flaring’).
Bristles need to be strong in order to be effective, they need to brush aside and remove food and bacteria, which have accumulated over a period of time, on, and in and around gaps in teeth.
General wear and tear and the fact that little ones often ‘chew’ on the bristles (but we’ve got a specific Chewable Toothbrush for those munchers!), mean that a 3 month lifespan for a toothbrush is usually the norm.
Using a toothbrush with splayed bristles will mean that it’s less effective and less efficient at removing plaque which is the cause of gum disease and tooth decay (*) and sometimes worn out bristles can actually hurt your gums, and this is the last thing you need when encouraging little ones to brush!
We know and appreciate how busy life is, but a toothbrush is such an important item for your child’s oral health and overall wellbeing. Go on – do a quick toothbrush check tonight and remember ‘if it’s splayed, throw it away!’ And check out our website for replacement heads for electric and rechargeable toothbrushes or a new manual toothbrush to keep that lifetime habit going!
Top Toothbrush Tips
- Use your own toothbrush – don’t share with others
- After use – rinse thoroughly with tap water
- Store upright and let it air dry
- Keep away from other toothbrush heads (to avoid any cross-contamination)
- Change a toothbrush/replacement brush-head after illness
- Make a reminder note to inspect/change a toothbrush/replacement brush-head every 3 months
(*) A 2013 study showed that after 40 days of consistent use, bristle flaring makes the toothbrush less effective and less efficient at removing plaque.
Source: Tangade. PS et al. (2013). Is plaque removal efficacy of toothbrush related to bristle flaring? A 3 month prospective parallel experimental study. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3847535/