Have you owned your toothbrush for so long that you cannot remember when you last changed it? If so, it helps to know why it is important to change your toothbrush. Here are three reasons to get a new toothbrush.
The Toothbrush Has Frayed Bristles
A common problem that happens with toothbrushes that are old is frayed bristles. Those bristles on the toothbrush are made for the sole purpose of cleaning your teeth, and when the bristles become flat and frayed they are no longer able to do their job to remove plaque from your teeth. The bristles are just flat, and rubbing sideways against your teeth instead of agitating the plaque so that it can be removed. It's like brushing your hair with a backside of a brush, since you'll be doing the motion of brushing but not actually getting your hair straight.
If you frequently find that the bristles of your toothbrush are frayed soon after swapping it out, it is likely that you are brushing way too hard. Loosen your grip and try to do gentle strokes as you brush, and you'll notice that your toothbrush lasts much longer.
The Toothbrush Has Bacteria In It
You should also think about the bacteria that can be hidden in your toothbrush that you cannot get rid of. Even though you're putting toothpaste on the brush and using it twice a day, there can be bacteria hiding deep inside it that doesn't go away. While sterilizing the toothbrush by boiling it in water can be a good way to keep it clean within the three month window of using it, sterilizing the brush is not an alternative to replacing the entire brush.
A good tip to remember that it's time to swap out the brush is to set a reminder on your phone. You'll likely get a new toothbrush at your dental office that you'll start using, so immediately set a reminder to swap out the toothbrush three months from them. Then you won't be using an old toothbrush with bacteria in it.
The Toothbrush Was Used After Being Sick
If you were recently sick and regularly brushing your teeth, the toothbrush is going to have all of those germs that can cause you to become reinfected. It is always a good idea to get rid of that toothbrush once you've recovered from your illness to ensure that there are no traces of the disease on your toothbrush.