Similar to changing the batteries on a smoke detector, many people often wonder how frequently they should replace their toothbrush with a new one. Statistics seem to bear out that most people don’t bother replacing their toothbrush until the bristles start to fall out, or they shop around for an electric toothbrush they think will last forever. When should you replace your toothbrush, and what sort of electric toothbrushes are on the market for your needs?
It is interesting to note that, according to Worldental.org, Americans spend about $1.25 billion on toothbrushes and $1.8 billion on toothpaste every year. Given the U.S. population stands at 300 million, these numbers aren’t exactly staggering. Just for comparison sake, Americans on average drink 600 cans of soda each year and last year, according to the National Confectioner’s Association, over $2 billion was spent on Halloween candy. That’s just Halloween. We’re not counting Christmas, The Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, or Easter. In short, people are hanging on to their toothbrushes probably long past their due.
The American Dental Association recommends:
- Toothbrush bristles should always be relatively straight or only slightly bent
- Toothbrushes be changed every three months
- Toothbrushes should be tossed out after one has combatted a cold
Toothbrush bristles should be relatively straight or only slightly bent. This bears repeating because many people aren’t aware of when their toothbrush is past its prime. Relatively straight or only slightly bent, it’s still OK, but if it looks like it was used to scrub the bathroom tiles, it needs to be tossed.
Electric Toothbrushes – An Overview
As far as the electric toothbrush market goes, there are two big players: Sonicare and Oral-B. Both companies make excellent products, which fit most budgets. For high-end performance, I personally like the Sonicare Diamond Clean. It has many bells and whistles including timers, and pressure sensors “informing” the user when too much pressure is being applied to the teeth. Unlike the Oral-B, which has a rotating head, the Sonicare oscillates, thus giving more mechanical advantage. But, at a whopping cost of $220, the Sonicare Diamond Clean may be a bit much. Oral-B makes a great product, and the Oral-B Vitality, at a cost of around $23 also has a timer, and is a great electric toothbrush.
Whether you’re using a traditional toothbrush or an electric one, be mindful of the wear-and-tear your toothbrush is sustaining and make sure you swap it out frequently. A helpful reminder (similar to daylight savings time for smoke detector batteries) is to change your toothbrush on the start of each new season, winter, spring, summer, and autumn. This way you continue to use a toothbrush that will achieve what it’s supposed to: healthy gums, and white, cavity-free teeth.
Dr. Michael Sinkin has been practicing dentistry for over two decades. He truly cares about the experience his patients have and takes great pride in making them feel relaxed and comfortable during every visit. Come in for an appointment and experience a different kind of dental practice. You may even receive a healthy dose of Dr. Sinkin’s famous comic relief! To find out more about Dr. Sinkin, click here