It is important to take care of your oral health, which plays a vital role in overall health. Poor oral health can cause more than just bad breath and cavities. Bad oral health is linked to a number of health conditions, including heart disease, lung problems, diabetes, etc. So, how can you keep your mouth clean and healthy to prevent gum disease and its associated health risks?
There are many things you can do to maintain a healthy mouth and strong teeth – such as brushing teeth thoroughly and flossing between the teeth to remove dental plaque, rinsing mouth after meals, practising good eating habits, regular dental check-ups, etc.
While you do all these, it’s also important to follow appropriate toothbrush care and maintenance for sound oral hygiene. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should replace your toothbrush approximately every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles become frayed with use. Also, it would be wise to get into the habit of changing your toothbrush after you’ve had an infection such as cold, flu, mouth sores, as bacteria can linger on those bristles for some time. Here are five reasons why you should replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months:
- It’s obvious that after around three months of usage, the bristles of the toothbrush become unlevel and frayed, making them much less effective at removing food particles.
- As the bristles become frayed, chances are that they cannot remove plaque on your teeth. Research has shown that a new toothbrush is more effective in removing plaque than one that is worn out. Plaque, if it’s not removed regularly by brushing or flossing, hardens to create calculus, also known as tartar.
- Worn-out toothbrushes are believed to be more vulnerable to bacterial and fungal growth – although studies have shown that various microorganisms can grow on toothbrushes after use. As per the ADA, there is insufficient clinical evidence to support that bacterial growth on toothbrushes can lead to specific adverse oral or systemic health effects.
- Brushing teeth is good oral hygiene, but it may be noted that using an old toothbrush for more than 3 months can increase your risk of dental problems and bad breath, also known as halitosis. Halitosis is a common problem that can be embarrassing and may even cause anxiety in some cases.
- Bleeding gums aren’t always due to aggressive brushing, there could be a number of triggers that can lead to that pink spit – and worn out bristles can be one reason your gums are bleeding.
In addition to maintaining a good oral hygiene, you should visit your dentist on a regular basis to keep your teeth strong for lifetime.