Signs You Should Replace Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush, like all other hygienic products, should be replaced once it has reached the end of its lifespan to prevent it from becoming a health hazard. An old and worn out toothbrush will be ineffective at cleaning off your teeth, and can cause plaque and tartar to begin to accumulate. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can keep an eye out for to help determine when it's time to start shopping for a new toothbrush.

Flat Bristles

The bristles of your toothbrush are the primary indicator of the condition of your toothbrush. If they have become flattened, bent, or otherwise moved out of shape, you may want to consider purchasing a new toothbrush. Misshapen bristles will have a harder time getting around your teeth and cleaning the gaps between your teeth and in your gums, which can allow food particles to stay in your mouth for an extended period of time and contribute to a number of dental health problems.

Recent Sickness

Though completely unrelated to the state of your toothbrush, you should replace your toothbrush every time after you get over a cold. Illnesses can cause bacteria to infest your toothbrush's bristles and breed, which can cause you to become chronically affected if you continue to use the same toothbrush for an extended period of time.

Odd Smells

If your toothbrush smells weird when you use it, especially after a long period of disuse or if it has been stored in a warm and moist environment, you should replace it immediately. You should always check to see if your toothbrush smells after it has been in storage for an extended period of time, especially if you have been travelling and it has been stuck in a travel case for a few days. This odd smell is often the first sign of mold growth, which is a serious health hazard that can lead to a number of illnesses and can aggravate existing conditions, especially respiratory ones like asthma.

Accidental Contact

If your toothbrush has fallen on the floor or come into contact with some other surface, especially one in your bathroom or another toothbrush, you should just bite the bullet and buy another toothbrush. The bacteria and particles located on any one surface can be wide ranging and harmful, so it's much better to sacrifice a few dollars for a new toothbrush instead of risking getting some sort of infection or illness. 

For more toothbrush tips, speak with a dentist.