Using an electric toothbrush is so easy a child can do it well with minimal instruction. However, that doesn’t mean it’s completely idiot-proof. In fact, one of the most common mistakes someone can make with an electric toothbrush is not changing the head often enough.
How Often Should You Change The Head Of An Electric Toothbrush? The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your electric toothbrush every 3-4 months. K
Keep in mind that this is just a suggestion. You are free to return it whenever it looks worn. Continue reading to find why you should change the head of the electric toothbrush regularly.
Reasons to Change the Head of your Electric Toothbrush
The bristles in the toothbrush are designed to give your mouth a good rinse. Unfortunately, bristles are not immune to wear and tear. The following are the top reasons to make the change:
Worn Bristles Don’t Clean
Modern toothbrush bristles are made of nylon fibers. The bristles are cut into a uniform height leaving jagged edges for effective brushing. Continuous brushing causes the bristles to be frayed. It renders the bristle fibers less effective at cleaning your teeth and gums.
Are you surprised when you go to the dentist for your routine cleaning and the hygienist tells you how much plaque and tartar you have? One of the biggest reasons for this is that you’re not brushing with the appropriate brush head.
Think it doesn’t make a difference? Change the brush head out and then use a new one. It always feels like I’m finally getting a proper scrub on the smile.
It may not be visible to the naked eye, but the edges of the bristles are usually rounded into soft domes. This is done to avoid the edges of the sharp brittle from scraping away gums and the enamel.
However, the rounded tips of the bristles eventually wear away. As a result, the bristles become more abrasive. Such a brush can damage the gum tissues leading to gum recession.
Reduce Germ Transfer
Your brush comes into contact with millions of germs and bacteria each time you brush your teeth. The good news is that a brush us designed to make minimize germ transfer.
Typical brush bristles have a protective coating that makes them easy to clean. As the bristles get old, this coating wears off, leaving you exposed.
You have Dental Complications
People suffering from periodontal disease have to be more vigilant about their toothbrushes than everyone else. For instance, gingivitis requires softer bristles. It would be best if you didn’t have to wait until you can see signs of wear and tear to replace the head of your toothbrush.
How to Keep the Head Clean?
Replacing your toothbrush alone is not enough when it comes to oral hygiene. You must keep the new brush head clean. Below are tips for keeping the brush head clean.
Wash Your Hands
Your hands are breeding grounds for germs. On any given day, the hands get into contact with hundreds of surfaces. There are an estimated 2-10 million bacteria on your hands. This number doubles every time you use the toilet.
Germs can survive on your hands for more than 3 hours. So before you touch your brush thoroughly, wash your hands with soap and water. It prevents the transfer of germs to the toothbrush.
Rinse the Brush
The germs, plague, and food particles from the mouth are often transferred to the brush. Rinse the brush in running water after every round of brushing. Doing this washes away the leftover toothpaste and germs. It also makes the bristles dry faster. Rinsing should be done before and after brushing your teeth.
Disinfecting your toothbrush provides more protection than just rinsing. There is numerous way of going about it. Colgate recommends dipping the toothbrush in mouthwash for about 15 minutes to kill germs.
Alternatively, you can use home remedies. A good example is using a solution of baking soda. For best results, ensure that the solutions cover all the bristles. Don’t leave the brush in the disinfectant for too long as this can damage the bristles.
Germs can be transferred to your toothbrush during storage. It will help if you store your toothbrush in an upright position. Doing this ensures that the brush is well aerated. The bacteria that live on a toothbrush are anaerobic. Exposure to oxygen kills the bacteria.
Also, ensure that the brush is stored away from the toilet as this exposes it to more germs. Lastly, avoid storing too many toothbrushes in one container. It increases the risk of germ transfer from one brush to the next. If you have to ensure the bristles are facing away from each other.
Sharing isn’t Caring
This may seem obvious, but you should never share your toothbrush with anyone. The bacteria and germs don’t care close you are. Each person has a different strain on bacteria in their mouth. Sharing the same toothbrush head puts both parties at risk.
It is even more dangerous if one party has bleeding gums. If you must share an electric toothbrush, be sure to swap out the head. The two toothbrush heads should be distinguishable to avoid confusion.
The toothbrush is an essential oral hygiene tool. Its effectiveness depends on a combination of brushing techniques, sanitizing, and storage. Eventually, even with the best care, you will have to replace the head of your toothbrush. The condition should inform this decision to replace the brush.
People who brush more times a day need to replace their toothbrushes more often than individuals who clean fewer times a day. Similarly, individuals with dental complications require replacements more often to avoid aggravating the condition. Ultimately, the brush will tell you when it needs replacing. Get a new head for your electric toothbrush as the first sign of danger.