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A recent survey revealed that 10% of Brits only change their toothbrushes once a year. We speak to dentist Melike Aytekin on why this is dangerous for our oral health and how often you should be replacing your toothbrush
Dentists often recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes each time, for good oral health.
Though, any efforts to clean your teeth may be completely wasted if you’re not replacing your toothbrush often enough.
Recent research from PlumbNation found that 40% of Britons admitted they weren’t changing their toothbrush as frequently as they should be. This habit is not only bad for your oral health but for your overall health, according to experts.
Dr Melike Aytekin, dentist at Vera Clinic advises on the importance of replacing toothbrushes with some extra tips on keeping up your oral health.
So, from how often your toothbrush should be changed to learning how to clean it properly, we’ve got everything you need to know.
How often should you change your toothbrush?
According to Dr Melike Aytekin, dentist at Vera Clinic, people should change out toothbrush heads every three months “or even earlier”.
She advised everyone to watch for signs of wear and tear that could make the toothbrush lose its efficiency in removing food and plaque from our teeth.
Dr Aytekin told Mirror Online: ”As soon as a toothbrush loses its stiffness or you see the bristles become frayed, it’s time to change the head.”
Replacing your toothbrush often not only helps do its job of keeping your teeth clean and healthy efficiently, but it also keeps any build-up of germs and bacteria to a minimum.
The good news is that 43% of Brits are following this advice already, according to the PlumbNations survey. Yet, only 19% have been doing it once every six months.
What oral health issues can arise from using the same toothbrush for too long?
Dr Aytekin warned that old toothbrush heads carry bacteria as well as food particles.
She said that it’s a good idea to change your toothbrush head for the following instances, too:
- Every time you’ve been sick/unwell
- When you’ve had strep throat, colds and tonsillitis are the most serious concerns.
She added that food remaining the toothbrush bristles can also cause plaque build-up which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
There’s also the matter of food not being removed efficiently, which can cause a build up of plaque and therefore fillings, tooth decay and even gum disease.
How to keep your toothbrush clean
Cleaning your toothbrush between uses is not at all complicated. Healthline assures people that using hot water to wash your brush is more than enough to keep things disinfected in between uses.
If you’d like to go one step further you can soak your brush in mouthwash or denture cleanser can also help shake off any nasty bacteria.
After cleaning, it’s best to keep your toothbrush stood upright and allow it to air dry.
What other steps should you follow to take care of your oral health?
Besides replacing your toothbrush, Dr Aytekin recommended flossing as well as lightly brushing your gums as ways to take care of your oral health.
She said: “The worst type of tooth decay starts at the line of your gums. Be sure to brush gently though; if you see bleeding or excessive redness, then you are brushing too hard.”