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cosmetic dentist Moorabbin

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? We throw out expired foods, restock vitamins and supplements, and replace our beauty products often, but when it comes to health and beauty, it’s our dental hygiene that doesn’t get as much attention or thought as other areas of our regimen. However, there are important rules and tips you should follow for maintaining optimal dental health.

When To Change Your Toothbrush

Most dentists, and the Australian Dental Association (ADA), recommend changing your toothbrush every 3 months. Over time, toothbrushes go through normal wear and tear and become less effective with removing plaque from teeth and gums. Studies have found that around 3 months is when the bristles break down and lose effectiveness, reducing the efficiency of plaque removal from the teeth.

One other consideration we don’t typically think about (and probably don’t like to think about) is that germs can hide and build up in toothbrush bristles. This makes it important to replace your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold, or risk possible reinfection. Also, it is important not to share your toothbrush with other people, to prevent cross-infection.

Fungus and bacteria can also develop in the bristles if the toothbrush is not taken care of properly. After use, make sure you rinse off and dry your toothbrush thoroughly, storing uncovered in an upright position and keeping it away from other used toothbrushes. When traveling, be sure to cover your toothbrush head to protect it and reduce the spread of germs.

If you can’t remember exactly how long it’s been, pay particular attention to the condition your toothbrush head is in – whether the bristles are worn out, fan out, or frayed, or especially if you see dark color changes, which is a sign of mold.

What Happens If I Don’t Change My Toothbrush Often Enough?

If knowing that bacteria and fungus accumulates on your toothbrush bristles overtime isn’t enough reason to replace your toothbrush more often, there are also a number of other risks and uninviting issues involved with not replacing your toothbrush. One risk includes damaging your gums, as old toothbrushes become ineffective with removing plaque from your teeth, which leads to gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis leads to infection, which can cause teeth to fall out.
Even more unappealing, you can get sick from overused toothbrushes (see: bacteria and fungus build up), your toothbrush can grow mold, or possibly the least appealing, you can ingest unwanted particles if stored near a toilet.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go change my toothbrush right now and schedule a regular scale and clean with my dentist:)

What To Consider When Shopping for Dental Products

Ask your dentist during your next dental checkup and cleaning for recommendations about what you should be buying based on your individual needs, your particular dental health state, etc.
Some common suggestions among dental professionals are to look for toothbrushes with soft bristles, as hard bristles damage your teeth and gums, choose a toothbrush head size that touches one or two teeth at a time, use a toothpaste containing fluoride approved by the ADA, consider using and ALCOHOL FREE mouthwash to further fight plaque and gingivitis, and don’t forget floss!
Consider investing in an electric toothbrush, as these have been proven to improve oral health beyond what a manual toothbrush can do by removing plaque, reducing gingivitis and eliminating teeth staining. They’ve also been shown to minimize the amount of plaque on the teeth of people with periodontal disease. These days, you can buy a good electric toothbrush from Coles or Woolworths for under $30.
Do your research on what products fit your needs best, and don’t forget to ask your dentist for recommendations

What Our Patients Say

Diane Carrick
Diane Carrick
2024-05-22
Thank you so much to Julie and her Team for looking after me yesterday at such short notice. Great care and wonderful treatment. Already have my next appointment booked with her for follow up work. Extremely happy
satyaki dasgupta
satyaki dasgupta
2024-05-19
Very nice and friendly team. All the dentists are excellent in their job and give comfort of the patient utmost priority.
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Joe Zhang
2024-05-16
I can't recommend Dr Jason Ying highly enough! His patience and clear explanations regarding my dental issues were incredibly reassuring. He took the time to ensure I understood my treatment options and developed a comprehensive plan that addressed my concerns. Exceptional care all around!
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amanda nicol
2024-05-14
The team at Carnegie Family Dental are professional and caring. Their hours are convenient and there’s a great selection of Dentists to choose from, all of who are excellent!
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Haylz
2024-05-13
Our experience with Dr Annie for our toddler's dental visit was fantastic! She was incredibly patient, attentive, and professional throughout the appointment. Couldn't have asked for a better dentist for our little one!
James Patishman
James Patishman
2024-05-11
This dental care clinic exhibits exceptional professionalism and a commitment to patient satisfaction. Alex, in particular, demonstrated remarkable diligence and patience in providing dental care. I highly recommend this clinic for its outstanding services.

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