Ever wonder why every time you make a trip to the dentist they hand you a brand-new toothbrush at the end of your appointment? While it definitely has something to do with changing out your toothbrush every three months—the bristles can easily get shot and your brushing efforts may be less effective. But the reason why it’s recommended to change out your toothbrush regularly is also due to the fact that neglecting to swap it can cause unwanted bacteria to breed in your mouth and cause you to become sick. Keeping your mouth free of any extra germs puts you one step closer to having to fight off things like the common cold, coughs and even the flu.
Chevy Chase, MD, cosmetic dentist Claudia Cotca, DDS, says changing your toothbrush or toothbrush head is important for maintaining effective brushing techniques and results-oriented investments in your oral health. “By keeping the bristles in functioning condition, the cleaning mechanism is effective and reproducible. When the bristles age, they break and can become less effective in rendering a clean surface within the most ideal time of use.” As if that wasn’t enough, using toothbrushes with worn down or broken bristles can actually cause irritation to the gums and the parts of the tooth near the gum. “Additionally, old bristles which are rough and broken down, can adhere and promote bacterial growth themselves, increasing the risk for serious infections which can become systemic, not just localized in the mouth.”
If you constantly forget to swap out your toothbrush every few months, you may want to sign up for Boka($15), a subscription-based oral care program that sends you a new toothbrush (as well as floss and toothpaste) every three months. Taking the guesswork out of changing up your tools, the 100-percent organic products also help to reduce bacteria in the mouth putting you on track for a healthy mouth and smile all around.