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Is it Time for a New Toothbrush?

added on: February 22, 2021
child with toothbrush

At our pediatric dental office in Chattanooga, we know how important it is for a kid to have just the right toothbrush. Chances are, your child’s choice is either his favorite color or has one of his favorite characters on it. But he can’t keep the same brush forever, so how do you know if it’s time for a new one? 

According to the American Dental Association, we should all replace our toothbrushes every three to four months. That’s a good rule of thumb to follow and is typically the time you’ll start to notice the tell-tale signs of overuse. Some of the most common ways you can tell if it’s time for a new toothbrush is to look at the bristles for the following signs of aging:

  • Fraying
  • Discoloration
  • Flattening
  • Pointing every which way

When the bristles start to take on a different shape, they are no longer efficient at removing food particles or bacteria because they can’t properly cover each tooth surface. It’s time to start looking for a new toothbrush. 

There are also some occasions when you should switch brushes sooner, even if the bristles are intact. For example, if a toothbrush is shared or used while sick, toss it and get a new one. 

How to Care for The New Toothbrush

Once your child has settled on a new brush, make sure to establish some rules for proper care. Some good tips to follow include:

Rinse it thoroughly after each and every use. Rinsing helps remove toothpaste particles and any icky bacteria that may linger in the bristles. 

Give it air. Instead of sealing a wet toothbrush inside a container where bacteria can multiply, leave the toothbrush out to air dry. 

Don’t share it. While we’re all for teaching kids about the importance of sharing, swapping toothbrushes is one thing that’s an exception to the rule. 

In addition to keeping your child’s brush in tip-top shape for the best results and making sure he uses it at least twice a day, it’s also crucial to maintain regular appointments at our Chattanooga pediatric dental office for optimal oral health. If it’s time for your little one to visit the dentist, give us a call today.