Oral Health 101: 4 Telltale Signs You Need A New Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is your lifeline to good oral health. Ideally, you should be brushing every day, twice a day, with a clean toothbrush. Your toothbrush needs to be clean and sturdy to do its job right. If your toothbrush is looking a little old, or you haven't replaced it in awhile, you should probably get a new one. Other signs you need a new toothbrush include these four:

1. The Bristles Look Ragged

In order for your toothbrush to work properly, the bristles need to be rigid. If they are looking a little ragged or have lost their color, they probably aren't working very well. Additionally, the older the brush, the more bacteria it has. So just keep that in mind when looking at your brush.

2. It's Been Dropped

There is no five-second rule when it comes to toothbrushes. If you have dropped your toothbrush at all, it's time to replace it. Bathrooms, in general, are dirty. They contain a large amount of germs and bacteria. If you drop your toothbrush, you're just putting all of those germs and bacteria into your mouth—and that isn't good for your oral health.

3. It's Touched Another Toothbrush

Similar to dropping, you should replace your toothbrush any time it touches another toothbrush—even if it touches your spouses brush. Different people harbor different bacterias. When your toothbrush touches another brush, it picks up those germs. When you put it in your mouth, you get those germs. Although you probably won't get a cavity from your toothbrush touching another brush, you can get sick. So it's a good idea to replace it if has touched another brush.

4. You've Traveled Recently

If you have been traveling, chances are good that your toothbrush has been living in a closed container. While the container helps to keep foreign objects from your brush, it doesn't protect it from germs, bacteria, or mold. Any time your toothbrush has been in a closed container for more than a day, it's a good idea to toss it and replace it. If you travel a lot and don't want to be purchasing new toothbrushes all the time, consider keeping it in a container that offers ventilation. This will help keep it dry, clean, and bacteria-free.

Replacing your toothbrush is just as important as brushing your teeth. If you're not sure when you should be replacing your brush, use this guide as a reference. As always, talk to your dentist and orthodontist, like those at Aspen Orthodontics, if you're in doubt.