If you brush your teeth twice a day, then you might not notice the quality of your toothbrush – you’re more focused on scrubbing those pearly whites. But if your toothbrush is old, frayed, and dirty, how clean can you really get your teeth? Look out for these signs that show that you need a new set of bristles:

  1. You’ve been sick recently. Recovering from the flu can feel like a miracle – never again will you take clear sinuses for granted! But if you used the same toothbrush while you were sick, then you might re-infect yourself the next time you clean your teeth. Pick up a new toothbrush for the sake of your health!
  1. The bristles are worn down. Wondering if it’s time for a replacement? Take a closer look at your toothbrush. Bristles that are frayed, bent, or missing are a sure sign that you already got your use out of this tool, and it’s time for a replacement. Damaged bristles won’t be able to remove food particles wedged between your teeth. Think about it: how can this brush clean your teeth, when it looks like it can’t clean itself? 
  1. It’s been stored in a closed space. Some of us leave our toothbrushes on the counter, while others store theirs in a drawer. Even though it looks neater, putting your damp toothbrush in a closed space can make bacteria go wild; these conditions promote microbial growth. Buy a toothbrush holder and store your brush upright to keep it safe from mould.
  1. There is debris on the toothbrush. It’s hard to notice changes on something we use every day. That said, try to keep an eye on how dirty your toothbrush is getting. We brush our teeth to remove bacteria – not to add more. Stick your toothbrush under the tap and give it a good rinse; if none of the residual goo comes clean, then throw it out and use a new one.
  1. You haven’t replaced it in months. When was the last time you bought a new toothbrush? If you can’t remember, then it’s probably time for a replacement. Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Set a reminder on your phone every few months to get a new brush. Your teeth deserve the best; after all, you’ll be using those tools for the rest of your life! Pamper them by buying a new brush regularly. 
  1. It touched another person’s toothbrush. Most of us wouldn’t share a toothbrush with someone else, no matter how much we loved them. It comes down to wanting to keep our oral bacteria separate. But when you store your toothbrushes side-by-side, they risk touching bristles and swapping germs. Yuck! To avoid this issue, you may want to purchase two separate toothbrush holders. 

If you don’t change your toothbrush regularly, then your efforts to clean your teeth are going to waste! Those old bristles will spread bacteria from last month’s meal onto your pearly whites.

Do you have questions about oral health? It’s best to consult a Winnipeg dentist. At WestSide Dental, we take pride in offering our patients high-quality and comprehensive care. To schedule a cleaning with one of our hygienists, contact our dental office today.