ORAL health is important. Picture: Pexels / Meruyert Gonullu
ORAL health is important. Picture: Pexels / Meruyert Gonullu

Oral Health Month: 5 ways to know when you need a new toothbrush

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Sep 17, 2021

Share this article:

You probably know when it’s time to get a replacement for your worn out and outdated clothing items or when it’s time to change your old and uncomfortable shoes. But chances are it’s not that easy to detect when you should change your toothbrush.

According to Dr Nosipho Mzobe from The South African Dental Association, changing a toothbrush should be changed between two to three months depending on the condition of the bristles.

Other contributing factors can vary from one person to another depending on your preference, usage and health.

September is National Oral Health Month, and dental experts are sharing a “hack” for a healthier mouth, which will only take a minute or two each day and can help you enjoy a longer life.

Dental and oral health is an essential part of your overall health and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities and gum disease, and has also been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Mzobe says there are a number of signs that could indicate why one needs to change the toothbrush. Here are five signs that she says could be a giveaway that you need a new one.

1. Worn out bristles

If your bristles are no longer straight or if they are crooked and bent, that’s an indication it’s not effective in dealing with dental hygiene. “Some brushes tend to be fuzzy, soft and are unable to clean your teeth properly and give you the required dental hygiene,” Mzobe says.

For the electrical toothbrush, Mzobe suggests reading the instructions on the manual, that will outline the lifespan of the brush head.

2. Infections

You should change your toothbrush when you have been diagnosed with gum disease and you are undergoing treatment. “The bacteria and micro-organisms of the infection harbour on the toothbrush while you’re undergoing treatment. It preferable to start using a new brush,” Mzobe says.

3. Shared toothbrush

If you have noticed or seen that someone has used your toothbrush, you need to change it. Mzobe says: “this will help you avoid cross infections that are transferred by the sharing of a toothbrush particularly if you are susceptible to gum disease.”

4. Storage

If you haven’t used your brush in a while or if there is mould or fungus on your brush due to your place of storage. “All toothbrushes should be stored individually to avoid cross contamination of diseases due to storage,” Mzobe says.

5. Technique

Technique could have an impact on the lifespan, and it may require you to change your toothbrush more regularly than the average person. Due to the amount of pressure applied on the tooth via toothbrush, could result in the wearing of the tooth structure sooner and it could lead to sensitivity of the teeth or require filing.

Related video:

Share this article: