Over 75% of us don't replace our toothbrush head every 3 months like our dentist recommends, and it's much more than just a hygiene problem. We get it! It doesn't matter how many times we see the faded blue bristles, family calendar reminders or blinking toothbrush warning lights — the second we put that brush down, we forget. Still, refreshing your bristles is crucial to ensure a healthy clean, and here are the three main reasons why:
Worn heads damage gums
When brushes are made, the nylon bristles are first cut to the same height, leaving sharp, jagged edges. The end of each bristle is then rounded into a soft dome to make them less abrasive and ensure they don't scrape away enamel or gum tissue.
As you brush, the bristles return to their original jaggedness, which can cause gum recession and wear away enamel according to Dr. Mark Burhenne, quip’s Chief Dental Advisor and founder of AskTheDentist.com.
This is why it is recommended to replace them every three months, or when you see signs of wear. (If you do see wear before 3 months, take our hard brusher quiz to learn if you should soften up on your technique.)
Germs are a-plenty
This may seem like the obvious one, but it shouldn't be ignored. The American Dental Association recommends changing your brush head every 3 months to prevent bacteria from building up in the bristles, affecting your oral health and general well-being.
A bathroom can be a hotbed for bacteria, particularly if you are prone to bad habits such as flushing the toilet with the seat pan up.
Worn bristles don't clean
Here's the big one: a worn-out brush just doesn’t clean your teeth well, leading to cavities and other damaging side effects! The splayed bristles bend away from teeth while brushing, stopping their fine tips from reaching between teeth and gums, therefore hindering the core reason for brushing.
Dr. Burhenne recommends setting a reminder on your phone’s calendar to replace your brush, or joining a service that automatically delivers you a brush head every 3 months like quip. So when your fresh head arrives in the mail, you have no more excuses to not change it out right there and then.