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Time to Toss Your Toothbrush?


How long has your toothbrush been in use? Is it past its prime? Is it time to toss it in the trash and invest in a new one? At my dental office in Buckhead, these are important questions that we’d like to provide some answers to.

Toothbrushes are designed to remove as much plaque and bacteria as possible. They only last a specific amount of time. The older the toothbrush, the less effective it will be. So, just how long can you expect your toothbrush to still be good at its job? What are some signs of an old, outdated, ineffective toothbrush?

Its Time is Limited

According to the American Dental Association, a toothbrush should only be used for about three or four months. Any longer and it will begin to show signs of wear and tear, and it won’t remove all of the dangerous particles hanging around. An ineffective toothbrush equates to an ineffective at-home oral health routine, which could create serious problems.

Signs You Should Toss It

As a toothbrush ages, whether it is a traditional toothbrush or a powered version, there are some obvious signs that will show it’s time to toss it or change the head. Many key indicators are found in the bristles. Keep an eye out for:

  • Fraying
  • Flattening
  • Crisscrossing
  • Discoloration

If you notice any of these signs, head to the store or our Buckhead dental office and pick up a new toothbrush or head. Make sure the bristles are soft.  Your teeth and gums will thank you.

Proper Toothbrush Care

Once you have your new toothbrush, there are ways you can extend your time together.

  • Rinse thoroughly after each use
  • Never share your toothbrush
  • Let it air dry

Just remember, even if you’re taking optimum care of your toothbrush, it won’t last forever. Always check it for signs of aging.

Having and using an effective toothbrush at least twice a day, every day, is only part of what we recommend for a healthy mouth.  Flossing and maintaining regular visits at my Buckhead dental office are also important. Professional cleanings remove plaque and bacteria and tartar that even the newest toothbrush can’t. For a happy smile, make sure you’re doing all three.

Welcoming patients from Buckhead, Atlanta, and Sandy Springs.

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