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Bent Bristles and Germs Galore: Reasons Your Toothbrush is Probably in Dire Need of an Upgrade

You probably don’t think too much about it. You brush and brush and brush, and never throw it away. Your toothbrush. But, did you know that toothbrushes have a definite lifespan? They do. Here’s when you should upgrade and change out the old brush.

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Brushing Your Teeth Regularly

You should brush every day, but many people don’t know for how long, and how many times is necessary. Here’s the spoiler: you need to brush at least twice a day, and make sure you’re brushing for at least 2 minutes. The goal is to get all the plaque off your teeth. You should also floss every day, and ideally after meals as well. Always keep floss with you. Finally, make sure you’re going to the dentist on a regular basis. You can get info from East Indy Dental Care if you don’t currently have a dental plan or a regular dentist.

When To Change Your Brush

There are many times when you need to change out your brush. Mosty, you need to change it out when you notice that the brush heads are mashed down, the bristles seem a little hard, or when the indicator strip on the brush is faded and turns clear. You should also change out your brush, and possibly upgrade, when your dentist tells you that you need to do more work to keep your teeth clean. Most people benefit from longer brushing times, but you may also need to take more time flossing and scraping your tongue free of bacteria and “gunk.”

Getting Electric Toothbrushes

One solution, and a popular upgrade, is to buy an electric toothbrush. These are toothbrushes that usually include timers and help you in some way do a better job of brushing. People who switch to them almost always notice the same thing: their brushing dramatically improves, their teeth are cleaner, and brushing is more efficient. Electric toothbrushes are great when you have arthritis, or any health condition that prevents you from really spending a lot of time brushing or prevents you from holding the brush properly. With that said, there are numerous different brushes on the market — both electric and standard — that can help you out. Some of them, like The Issa, uses silicone brushes, which make it easy and comfortable to brush as the silicone massages the gums. Goodwell + co. offers subscription plans for their brushes and other accessories.

Some of them, like The Issa, uses silicone brushes, which make it easy and comfortable to brush as the silicone massages the gums. Goodwell + co. offers subscription plans for their brushes and other accessories. What sets them apart is the fact that they make their bristles of a special material, called binchotan. It’s a charcoal that helps fight bad breath, bacteria, and viruses. They also make both aluminum handles (guaranteed for life) and wooden handles. The model is a subscription one, so you receive new brush heads in the mail either every 3, 6, or 9 months.

Most electric brushes have timers, like the Philips Sonicare line. But, many other “knockoff” brands have since come out with varying price points that offer the timer feature. There is some research showing that electric toothbrushes with rotating-oscillating bristles are more effective at removing plaque and preventing gum disease than manual brushes. And, sonic brushes are even better at cleaning, since they vibrate at up to 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute. They’re good for cleaning, since the added strokes and water push toothpaste into areas where manual brushes can’t go.

How To Choose A Good Brush

First, get the softest bristles you can find. It will clean your teeth, but in a gentler fashion than the hard bristles. Also, get bristles that are the right size for your mouth. Make sure you can access the back of your mouth easily. If you can’t, then the brush is way too big, and you need a smaller brush head. Regardless of whether you choose an electric brush or a manual one, what’s important is that you choose a brush that can clean your teeth. The brush needs to be angled toward your gums when brushing, and you need to take your time and make sure you get into all the tiny crevices in your mouth. Preparatory work, like cleaning your tongue, and flossing, is also key. Without doing these things, even the best brush in the world won’t help you. Finally, choose a toothpaste that you can use every day, that helps fight plaque and tartar buildup. And, of course, eat a healthy diet. Do not eat foods that erode enamel. Or, if you do eat them, make sure you clean your teeth one hour after consuming them. Foods that contain sugar are especially damaging.

Archie Carpenter works as a dental hygienist. He writes articles on maintaining good oral hygiene and other teeth topics which get published on a range of health and lifestyle websites.


  1. Mary Ambrosino says

    I need to start using my electric toothbrush.