Do you ever stop and study the bristles of your toothbrush, noticing that they aren’t as sharp as they used to be? It could be time for you to replace it. 
But when is the proper time to throw out that toothbrush? And what is the proper way to care for the new one?
The average toothbrush lifespan is between three and four months of use. However, if the bristles start to become worn down or are fraying, you should probably ditch it sooner. 
Why is this so important? Well, those bristles are arranged for maximum brushing power, as well as reaching into the crevices of your teeth with ease and efficiency. When you have bristles that are bent or out of shape, your toothbrush doesn’t have the potential to fully clean the plaque and leftover bits of food from your teeth. This could potentially increase your chances of developing gum disease, such as gingivitis. 
You should also use that toothbrush twice, every day, for two minutes. If you try to save your bristles by skipping brushings, you could be harming your teeth and gum line. So make sure you’re using that toothbrush to its fullest capacity and discarding it when its call to duty has ended. 
It’s also important to discard that brush because it will contain an alarming number of bacteria and other substances from your mouth. By changing out to a new, cleaner brush, you’re decreasing your chances of introducing infections to your smile. 
Also, you want to be sure to keep it separate from other toothbrushes, in order to keep your germs from contaminating your loved one’s bristles. 
Be sure to replace your toothbrush when you’ve been sick, too. This will keep you from re-introducing the contaminating agent that made you sick to begin with. 
Lastly, if you notice any debris on your toothbrush, throw it aside in place of a cleaner, better toothbrush. 
So, now that you know when to throw out that old toothbrush, what should you do to make sure your new toothbrush is ready to tackle that smile?
For starters, make sure to stand it up in a clean container. By standing it up and exposing it to the air, the head of the toothbrush can dry out and reduce the chances of bacteria clinging to the bristles. Also, don’t store it in a closed container or in a location that has a lot of moisture that could promote bacterial growth. Lastly, thoroughly rinse your toothbrush, removing all the debris from the bristles. 
By maintaining your toothbrush, you can reduce your chances of ending up in the dentist chair for a more serious gum disease issue.
Ready to schedule a professional cleaning with Dr. Mingus? Give our office a call today.