Young person brushing teeth

New Year, New Toothbrush: When To Switch to a New One and Why

Young person brushing teeth

The new year represents new life, new goals, and new aspirations. It’s the best time to refresh your life and make the necessary changes to create better and healthier routines. A great way to do this is by doing something as simple as switching out your old toothbrush for a new one.

We know how easy it is to overlook this task, but it’s one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining strong and healthy teeth, especially for your children.

How To Tell If You Need To Switch Your Toothbrush?

Before waiting until the end of life for your or your kid’s toothbrush, here are some clear signs to watch out for to know when it’s time for a replacement. 

It Has Frayed Bristles

This is one of the first telltale signs you’ll notice when it’s time to change your toothbrush. Over time, the brush heads of your toothbrush get frayed from overuse. When you see that the bristles are bending and your toothbrush doesn’t look how it used to when you first opened it, then it’s time for a change. 

Your Teeth Don’t Feel Right After Brushing

Another clear sign to watch for is the effect of your toothbrush on your teeth. If your teeth still feel fuzzy or dirty after brushing, chances are, there’s something wrong with your toothbrush. Perhaps there’s bacteria and plaque build-up on the toothbrush that’s affecting your mouth. Or maybe the bristles are so frayed that they cannot clean your teeth properly anymore. Make sure to check in with your child and ask them how their teeth feel after brushing. They may not notice or realize that it’s time for a new toothbrush!

There’s a Bad Smell

The final telltale sign is that there’s a bad smell. A bad odor indicates that there’s mold or bacterial growth on your or your child’s toothbrush. When this happens, be sure to throw out the existing toothbrush and get a new one immediately. You don’t want to risk putting bacteria back in your kid’s mouth.

How Often Should You Switch?

Rather than waiting for these signs to appear, we at Bay Area Kids Dentist recommend a more proactive approach — replacing your toothbrush as frequently as possible. For adults, we suggest switching to a new toothbrush every three to four months. 

For children, we recommend replacing their toothbrushes more frequently. Since toothbrushes for children are often softer and more delicate, their bristles tend to fray more easily than adult toothbrushes. It’s best to replace your child’s toothbrush every two to three months, or when the first signs of fraying appear.

What Kind of Toothbrush Should You Choose?

So, what’s the best toothbrush to choose for my child? It depends on how old your child is. 

For babies and toddlers ages 10 to 36 months, we recommend a manual toothbrush that can double as a teether. At these ages, your toddler is still developing their teeth, so you don’t need anything too fancy or too complicated. As long as it’s soft, durable, and safe to chew, then it’s a good product in our book.

Once your child reaches age three, you can explore other options to achieve the best dental care, including electric toothbrushes. A great electric toothbrush to explore for kids this age is Colgate Kids Extra Soft Battery Toothbrush. It has a gentle oscillating feature with flat bristles, making it easier for kids to learn to brush their teeth on their own.

When they get older and more comfortable with brushing their teeth on their own, you can introduce them to more advanced products like the Oral-B Junior Smart Electrical Toothbrush. This has built-in features, such as gum care and pressure sensors to help kids get more comfortable with brushing their teeth independently.

Electric Vs. Manual: Pros and Cons

If you’re choosing between manual or electric toothbrushes, we think that electric toothbrushes have the upper hand. Electric toothbrushes have some impressive features that manual toothbrushes don’t have. For example, they have gum care, pressure control, and oscillating motions that can clean teeth more effectively. The only downside to electric toothbrushes, however, is that they tend to be more expensive and require regular maintenance. 

Contact Us for Personalized Dental Care

As professional, board certified, pediatric dentists, we can’t stress enough the importance of replacing your children’s toothbrushes often to achieve optimal oral care. After all, good oral hygiene starts at home. If you want further guidance and consultation on your children’s dental care, we at Bay Area Kids Dentist are here to help.

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