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The toothbrush is one of the most important tools for maintaining proper oral hygiene. Brushing removes food debris accumulated in the mouth, as well as the bacteria responsible for the formation of dental plaque.
These small debris accumulate over time in the toothbrush. No matter how well we maintain it, it is necessary to change it periodically to ensure its hygiene and proper functionality.
How often do you need to change your manual toothbrush? Do you also need to change your electric toothbrush head? Find out why this simple gesture is so important for your teeth and gums to be more protected.
Why change your toothbrush?
Due to the daily use of the toothbrush, it is natural that it wears out and loses effectiveness. The bristles lose their original shape and eventually begin to open. That is why, when this deterioration of the bristles is observed, it is time to change either the toothbrush or the electric toothbrush head.
On the other hand, with use, bacteria and germs from inside the mouth accumulate between the bristles of the toothbrush head. These can develop in the right conditions of humidity, returning to the mouth later when the toothbrush is used again. Some of these bacteria are pathogenic, responsible for different types of diseases that can affect the integrity of the gums, teeth and also general health. For this reason, it is very important to take hygienic measures for the correct maintenance of your toothbrush and to renew it when it is due.
Bacterial growth on the toothbrush
Along with bacteria from the mouth that pass onto the toothbrush, the bathroom is a daily accumulation of countless microorganisms that can contaminate the bathroom. Without us realising it, bacteria from the toilet can be present on all surfaces in the bathroom, as well as in the sink, where the toothbrush has a higher risk of contamination.
In ideal humidity and temperature conditions such as those in the bathroom, bacteria and other microorganisms grow rapidly . If, in addition to this, food remains on the toothbrush, toothpaste, or is stored in a closed place where the humidity cannot be removed well, the germs grow at their own pace and then move into the mouth with each brushing.
Among the pathogenic microorganisms that can be found on the toothbrush are staphylococci, streptococci, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and the viruses responsible for influenza or cold sores that remain dormant on the toothbrush until they come into contact with a host in which to multiply.
How often to change your toothbrush?
Oral health professionals recommend changing your toothbrush within 3 months, even if it looks in good condition. But it's especially necessary to replace it with a new one if the bristles start to open or wear out.
Your toothbrush has a limited lifetime. It should not be used for more than 3 months, which is the maximum time to replace it with a new one in perfect condition.
How often should I change the electric toothbrush head?
The same applies to the electric toothbrush head. This part should be replaced every 3 months at the latest, or sooner if it is damaged.
How to maintain your toothbrush properly?
In addition to changing your toothbrush every 3 months, there are some practices that help keep your toothbrush in the best hygienic conditions at home. Reducing the buildup of microorganisms on your toothbrush is easier when you make good use of it on a daily basis.
- Washing your hands with soap and water before brushing your teeth prevents microorganisms from dirty hands from going directly to your toothbrush.
- Disinfect the toothbrush thoroughly after use: for best results, it is ideal to immerse the toothbrush in a glass of mouthwash containing cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine, preferably. After 30 minutes, rinse it thoroughly with water and dry it properly.
- When you finish brushing your teeth, it is advisable to leave the toothbrush in a ventilated place and in an upright position to dry.
- Preventing the toothbrush from coming into contact with other family members' toothbrushes also limits the transmission of germs.
Making a good use and maintenance of the toothbrush, as well as changing it with the right frequency keeps at bay the microorganisms that accumulate every day to take care of the health of the mouth preventing cavities and periodontal diseases.
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