When was the last time you really thought about your toothbrush? If you don't remember, your teeth might not be as clean as they should be. Your toothbrush is the first line of defense against cavities, bad breath, and even gum diseases. If it's not doing its job, your teeth aren't completely protected. Here are several reasons why you need to replace your toothbrush.
Your Teeth Still Feel Dirty After You Brush
If you spend several minutes brushing your teeth, but they still feel dirty, you probably have a worn-out toothbrush. Weakened or worn-out bristles can prevent your teeth from getting as clean as they should be. If it's been several months since you replaced your toothbrush – or you can't remember the last time you got a new one – it's time to replace it.
You Have Gingivitis
If your dentist has diagnosed you with gingivitis, you need a new toothbrush. Your old one might not be getting your gums as clean as it should. Instead of using a manual toothbrush, switch to an electric toothbrush with pulsating water. The pulsating action will remove germs, bacteria, and debris from between your teeth – and below the gum line – which will help improve the health of your teeth and gums.
You Keep Your Toothbrush on the Counter
If you keep your toothbrush on the bathroom counter, you need a new one. You might not realize this, but the aerosol from the toilet – that fine mist that floats through the air after you flush – could be depositing urine and fecal matter on your toothbrush. Save yourself from brushing with fecal matter, and replace your toothbrush as soon as possible. Once you have your new toothbrush, close the toilet lid before you flush. It's also a good idea to keep your new toothbrush on the other side of the bathroom.
You've Just Gotten Over a Sickness
If you just got over a bout of the stomach flu – or other sickness – you should toss your old toothbrush in the trash, and buy yourself a new one. Your old toothbrush is contaminated with the germs from your sickness. If you continue to use it, you could end up on a continuous cycle of sickness. To fully protect yourself, you should replace your toothbrush each time you recover from a sickness.
To keep your teeth and gums healthy, and to prevent the spread of germs, be sure to switch your toothbrush. It's also important that you visit your dentist at least twice a year.