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Danger of Using Your Toothbrush for More than Three Months

Posted on 4/10/2017 by Brandon Cooley
A woman using the same toothbrush for over 3 months.
We take our toothbrushes for granted. They look fine and so we use them over and over. But are they still doing the job they should month after month after month? At what point does the toothbrush cease doing its job. Your teeth look clean so the toothbrush must be okay, right?

Not necessarily. Like anything else a toothbrush has a reasonable life span. The bristles don't last forever. They can wear out just like a brush you use to scrub your dishes, because that is effectively what your toothbrush does - it scrubs your teeth clean.

How Long Should You Keep a Toothbrush?

Sure, the toothpaste companies and the toothbrush companies all recommend you change your toothbrush regularly, every three months. But, you think, of course they would say that because they make more money if you buy another toothbrush every three months or sooner. So you don't necessarily trust what they say and you decide to keep your toothbrush as long as you think it still works, regardless of how long that is.

Fortunately, there is an organization called the American Dental Association. This organization does not profit when you buy a new toothbrush and your teeth is their business. They study them and everything related to them. The American Dental Association agrees with the toothbrush companies and recommends that you change your toothbrush every three months.

What Happens if You Don't?
An old toothbrush has frayed and worn bristles and they won't clean as well. If they don't do their job properly, you run the danger of food particles staying between your teeth that can cause cavity-causing bacteria to grow.

If you have been ill, your toothbrush can harbor bacteria that can cause you to become reinfected. In this case, you should change your toothbrush as soon as you are well to avoid this potential problem.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about your oral health.

As a patient, three things stand out to me about Cooley Smiles - the great quality dental work, the cleanliness of the facility and thorough follow up. These are major differentiators that I look for in dental providers and to-date, I've always been satisfied with my experience. Thanks for the great patient care, Cooley Smiles team!

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