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How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush

What do you think is the most valuable tool in your home?

Are you thinking of your kitchen mixer? How about that wrench set in the garage? Sure, they are expensive tools…but are they valuable? 

It sounds crazy, but your toothbrush is arguably the most valuable tool in your home.  Here’s why:

Your toothbrush and it’s overall quality are key to keeping your teeth healthy and clean.  Clean teeth not only look and smell better, but healthy teeth and gums are much cheaper to maintain in the long run.

According to the Health Policy Institute, the average family of four pays about $1,272 per year in dental costs with insurance.  If we take insurance away then an average family of four would spend $2,056 per year, or $171 per month.

These numbers only reflect what it costs for cleaning and basic dental services. This doesn’t include more expensive corrective procedures that are needed when brushing and flossing are neglected.

If we start to look at people who neglect their dental hygiene, these costs start to skyrocket.  For example, the average cost of a root canal in the US is around $2,000 according to Cost Helper.

It’s not cheap to neglect your dental hygiene.

That’s why Kososki Dental advocates for preventative maintenance and dental education when it comes to taking care of your teeth and gums. Not only is it cheaper to take care of your teeth before they start to decay, but you can also reduce the likelihood of major surgical procedures by staying on top of regular care.

Toothbrush replacement is an important aspect of dental hygiene routines that gets neglected.

We recommend changing your toothbrush at most every 3 months, even if it looks like it’s in good shape.

Here’s why:

If you zoomed in on your toothbrush with a microscope after 1 month of regular use, you could see 2 important things that show why you need to replace it regularly:

#1)  The bristles in your toothbrush start to weaken and fray. 

During use, the bristles in your toothbrush weaken, break, and lose their ability to clean plaque between teeth effectively.  Picture an overused dust broom that has bristles that are too weak to clean between cracks in the concrete.  That’s what’s happening at a micro level when your toothbrush starts to wear out. It won’t clean between your teeth like it needs to.

If you continue to use a worn toothbrush, you increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Always replace your toothbrush if your bristles look worn out, fan out, or frayed.

#2)  Bacteria, fungus, and mold. 

Over time, your toothbrush can begin to house cultures of bacteria that you shouldn’t be putting in your mouth. Although it might look fine, I’m sure you can imagine how a toothbrush stored in a bathroom might develop some nastiness over time.

A look through a microscope reveals how your toothbrush is a home to several strains of bacteria, fungus and mold that are better off in the trash than in your mouth. Replacing your toothbrush on a regular interval helps keep these growths from becoming a problem.

Also, even if your toothbrush is brand new, be sure to replace it after being sick.  There’s no need to keep cultures of harmful bacteria and viruses on your toothbrush.

In general, always replace your toothbrush at a maximum interval of 3 months. That way, the most powerful tool in your fight against tooth decay is doing its job.

Keep your dental hygiene up and keep your dental costs down by replacing your toothbrush on time.

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