Toothbrushes – How Often Should We Replace Toothbrushes?
Toothbrushes are our first defense against gum disease, tooth decay and bacteria that cause bad breath. Brushing is known to be the easiest and most cost-effective method to remove dental plaque and prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. A recent meta-analysis by Zimmermann et al reported that low frequency of tooth brushing increases the risk of periodontitis. It has been reported that the frequency of tooth brushing is associated with diabetes , cardiovascular disease, bone density, metabolic syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.
The impact of brushing on systemic health is constantly debated, as findings of the effect of brushing teeth have been reported. Brushing teeth is the basic oral care behavior. Bacterial plaque formation may not be completely prevented due to the wrong brushing technique, wrong toothbrush or wrong toothpaste selection. Although individuals are trained in tooth brushing methods, it is not expected to have a positive effect on preventing bacterial plaque.
The Importance of Toothbrush
It is easier to reach hard-to-clean areas in your mouth with the brush hardness recommended by your physician, a hygienic and easy-to-hold handle, and a suitable brushing method. A toothbrush suitable for you effectively removes the food residue accumulated around your teeth and the bacteria accumulated in the residue.
There is not much information about when the toothbrush needs to be changed. Despite the widespread use of toothbrushes, few published scientific studies have explored how often toothbrushes should be replaced.
Research has revealed a wide range of average replacement times for toothbrushes, such as periods of 2.5 to 6 months.
While one study showed that a toothbrush with impaired bristles may be significantly less effective than a new toothbrush, another study concluded that there was no significant difference in bacterial plaque removal between individuals who use a brush with very impaired bristles and individuals who use brushes with poor bristles.
Factors in changing toothbrushes
While developing standards for toothbrushes, the inefficiency of the brush due to the loss of effectiveness and bristle deterioration is considered an important factor in the replacement of the toothbrush.
- Since the nylon bristles of toothbrushes are exposed to the chemicals in your toothpaste, the bristles become slightly weaker and bend each time you use them.
- If a family member has an infectious disease, it is appropriate for all family members to change their toothbrushes. Throat infections are particularly alarming. It is a good reason to replace your old toothbrush.
- If someone else has used your toothbrush accidentally, the brush must be replaced.
- If many toothbrushes are together and touching each other, the microbes that may be on them may be contaminated.
- When the bristles in the toothbrush begin to lose their hardness, the efficiency of the toothbrush is quickly lost as food residues and bacteria cannot be removed.
- While your child is brushing their teeth, they may contaminate the toothbrush by touching different surfaces. The brush can bite the heads or handles to neutralize them. For this reason, care should be taken to change the brushes of your children.