How Do You Know When to Change Your Toothbrush? | Walnut Creek Dentist

oral geBacteria is typically never synonymous with anything good. As children, bacteria are portrayed as creepy bugs that would basically cause issues with anything it touched. As adult, we know they aren’t animated but we don’t exactly have a different view of it. When it comes to our mouth, we have lots to worry about with bacteria. We have tons of it in our mouths, both good and bad. We really have no way to discern which is good and bad while we are doing our daily oral cleaning routines. But what if the one tool we use to keep our mouths clean and healthy is actually making the situation worse? Wouldn’t that be the worst possible outcome? Sadly, it’s true. But worry not. The best way to limit the bacteria on your toothbrush is to replace it on a regular basis.

The American Dental Association, or ADA, recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. But there are a few telltale signs you need a replacement, in case you forget when you got the toothbrush in the first place. If the bristles become frayed, or just looks worn out, replace it. If you’re sick, or you have a weak immune system, throw it out even more often. If you don’t use a regular toothbrush and decided to go with an electric toothbrush, throw out the head as often as you’d discard a disposable toothbrush. If you feel like your toothbrush isn’t as clean as it should be, soak it overnight in some baking soda and warm water. When you wake up, it’ll be clean as a whistle.

Every time you’re tempted to skip brushing and flossing your teeth, remember how many bacteria lurk in your mouth – and what they can do. Bacteria causes gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing as often as possible to eliminate some of those bacteria. Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash before or after brushing can also help reduce plaque-causing bacteria that can lead to gingivitis, an early, mild form of gum disease. Because we may be able to get most of the cavity-causing bacteria out of our mouths with a proper dental routine, but if we allow it to go as far as plaque, only a dentist can remove it so it’s best to try to keep things as healthy as possible on our own.

For more information about dental cleanings, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.