Why It’s Important to Change Your Toothbrush During Flu Season

It’s pretty simple to tell when to upgrade those old worn out shoes. But what about your toothbrush? 

With flu season upon us, let’s look at why it might be a good idea to change that toothbrush sooner rather than later. 

From my childhood I can recall a saying in our house about when your toothbrush looks like a shaggy dog, change it. Is there truth behind this… 

The Australian Dental Association advises to replace your brush at the first sign of wear-and-tear or every three months, whichever comes first, and if you’ve just been ill, replace your toothbrush so you don’t get reinfected by the germs in the bristles.

What Happens If I Don’t Change My Toothbrush Often Enough?

Knowing that bacteria and fungus accumulate on your toothbrush bristles overtime isn’t enough reason to replace your toothbrush frequently, there are also a number of other risks and uninviting issues involved with not replacing your toothbrush. One risk is the damage to your gums. Worn, old toothbrushes are very ineffective when it comes to removing plaque from your teeth, which leads to gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis leads to infection, which can cause major teeth issues. Let alone bad breath. 

Another unappealing risk, you can get quite sick from an overused toothbrush, your toothbrush can grow mould. But possibly the least appealing, you can ingest unwanted particles if stored near a toilet. Ew! I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go change my toothbrush right now and schedule a clean with my dentist.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Toothbrush Care

  • Never share your toothbrush or even toothpaste. Avoid spreading germs by giving everyone their own toothbrush and toothpaste. 
  • Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after use. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush under cold running water to remove excess toothpaste and debris. 
  • Do not soak your toothbrush in disinfecting solutions or mouthwash. This can actually lead to the spread of germs. 
  • Let your brush bristles air-dry. After rinsing your toothbrush, store it separately, upright in a holder to air dry. Avoid covering your toothbrush or storing it in a closed container. Moist, dark environments are a breeding ground for unwanted nasty bacteria. 
  • Change your toothbrush regularly. Replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles start to look frayed.
Toothbrush underneath water flowing from a tap

If you are due for a new toothbrush or toothpaste and are in between your oral hygiene appointments, pop into Ballina Coast Dental and the reception team can assist you. We carry a wide selection of manual and electronic toothbrushes, as well as other leading oral health products. Give us a call on (02) 6686 3810.

Erin

Erin

Erin is very passionate about oral health and the early detection and prevention of dental diseases,