When did you last change your toothbrush head? The American Dental Association as well as many other associations concerned with oral hygiene recommends changing of the toothbrush every three months. For those of you who feel that it is unnecessary to change a brush-head so frequently, here are the reasons that might make you change your mind!
- Our toothbrush heads are the cradles of millions of bacteria, germs and other micro-organisms. The toothbrush therefore comes with anti-germ components. However, with regular use, these anti-germ components do not remain effective anymore and hence the brush head should be changed to save yourself from threats posed by these microorganisms.
- Also, if you do not change your toothbrush head in frequent time intervals, the bristles will be frayed and will not be able to clean your mouth properly. The signs from which one can detect that the bristles are not worthy of use anymore are the change in color of the bristles and spewing of the bristles in different directions.
- If you suffer from some diseases such as flu, tonsillitis, throat sores or mouth sores, your toothbrush gets occupied by the germs and in term affects the toothbrushes of the other members in your family. It may even re-expose you to the germs and make you fall sick all over again.
- Many toothbrush heads these days come with tongue cleaner. These tongue cleaners collect dust and dirt in course of time and hence become absolutely unhygienic for use. Instead of cleaning your tongue, they expose your tongue to newer infections.
The three-month time period of changing of electric toothbrush heads is applicable for normal children as well as adults. This is irrespective of whether they use expensive, quality toothbrushes or cheaper ones. Even if you do not suffer from any diseases during these three months or find the bristles to be in the perfect shape, changing toothbrush head is mandatory since germs and microbes present in the toothbrush is undetectable to the naked eye. Even if you maintain proper health, there may be other reasons for bacteria and germs to attack your brush-head. Also, the germ-preventing component in the bristles may not be in proper form even if the bristles manage to maintain their original shape.
For people with a gum disease, the time period for changing of the brush – head is four to six weeks. This is to prevent themselves from spreading the disease to others or getting re-infected. Also, since people with plaques and other oral problems brush their teeth more often, the bristles wear out faster!
The duration of changing of brush heads also varies from one person to the other on the basis of the way they brush. There are some individuals who exert too much of pressure while brushing their teeth. As a result, the bristles wear out faster and the brush-head needs to be replaced. It is therefore advisable to brush in the correct manner, using the right amount of pressure, so that you do not have to change it even before it is three months old!
In case of oral infections, one must change his or her toothbrush just after his recovery even if it’s newly bought. As mentioned earlier, such infections have chances of recurring if you keep on using the same, contaminated toothbrush and spreading of the diseases to the other family members is neither uncommon!
Another major factor determining the frequency of changing a toothbrush is the number of times one brushes per day. Some people even have the habit of brushing three-four times a day, especially when they eat non-vegetarian food. Naturally, their toothbrushes last for a lesser time-span than those who brush once daily.
Even the three-month life span of a toothbrush may become shorter if you do not take proper care of your brush! So, do not think that you can afford to use your brush head in the roughest way for the three months before throwing it away. You should be careful to execute the steps stated below if you do not want to reduce the life-span of your brush any further:
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly under cold water so that the debris of your toothpaste or some food material does not remain on it. These materials trap germs and also do not allow the bristles and tongue cleaner to be in the proper form in the long run. Washing off the brush-head after every mouth-wash is thus mandatory.
- Mere cleaning of brush heads is not enough. You must know how to store them. The toothbrush heads should never be stored in a confined place. Instead, they should be kept in the open air, to let themselves dry.
- Always remember to keep your brushes in a vertical way and ensure that two different toothbrushes, used by different persons never come in contact with each other.
- Plastic covers are necessary to protect your tooth brush head from all threats. Nowadays, many tooth brushes come with plastic cases for the upper part and it is advisable to buy those ones only. This is especially applicable for people who live in highly pest populated areas – you don’t want creepy crawlies all over your brush!
- Never forget to wrap your brush head with a cover or in a polythene packet so that it is not exposed to the various microorganisms thriving in your bag or suit-case.
So, make it a point to change your brush head depending upon the factors discussed above. Take help of a mobile reminder so that you don’t forget to change your brush after the required time period. Otherwise, you will not be able to get healthy gums and teeth even after brushing a few times daily.