When you visit the dentist for your regular checkup, you'll typically hear how well you're doing with your brushing. If the dentist can tell that you're often missing a certain spot, for example, he or she will show you how to change your brushing approach accordingly. Unless you take your toothbrush to the appointment to have the dentist inspect it, however, you'll be responsible for making sure that you don't overuse the brush. Many people have the tendency to keep their brush in active use for longer than necessary, but this can lead to complications. Here are some signs that it's time to change your toothbrush.
The Bristles Are Spread Out
You want to use a toothbrush that has all of its bristles in tidy shape. Over time, due to the pressure of brushing, the outer bristles can get spread out. This is a sign that it's time for you to change the brush. When the bristles are in this condition, they can scrape your gums when you're trying to brush your teeth. This can reduce the efficacy of your brushing session and, if you exert a significant amount of pressure while you brush, lead to irritating the gums.
There's A Lot Of Gunk At The Base Of The Bristles
Take a moment to carefully inspect your entire toothbrush, including the base. Ideally, it should appear clear. However, some people continue to use their brush until there are food particles and other gunk caked around the base of the brush. If you notice this, it's time to replace the brush. This material on your brush will contain bacteria, which you'll be reintroducing to your mouth every time you brush. When you get a new brush, take a moment to thoroughly rinse it out after each use. This will keep the gunk from amassing at the base of the bristles.
Some Bristles Are Falling Out
If you experience the unpleasant sensation of toothbrush bristles being left behind in your mouth after you've brushed, it's a clear sign that your toothbrush needs to find a new home in the garbage. Bristles can begin to fall out over time, and this may pose a threat to your health. For example, you may be at risk of choking on the bristles or having them get lodged in your throat. Additionally, when your brush lacks some of its bristles, you won't be able to clean your teeth as successfully as when you use a new toothbrush.
For more information and tips on toothbrushes and brushing your teeth in general, contact a local dental clinic, such as Persona Dental.