Have you stopped to think that to clean your teeth you have to put in your mouth an instrument (brush) exposed to the humid and hot air of the bathroom (your usual place) and sometimes in contact with other brushes that have gone through other mouths, no matter how familiar they are, do not cease to be different from yours? And, aware of this, how often does your toothbrush change?
Do not wait for the brush to wear, because at this point it is possible that the accumulation of bacteria in it is excessive. “On average, toothbrushes should be changed every 3 months. However, there are people who tend to brush hard, damaging the brush more, so they should change it beforehand “, warns Marta, licensed in Dentistry and Master in Orthodontics, Dental Wellness . And what is the risk of not doing it? “Infections due to fungi and bacteria that remain in the brush bristles”, according to Carolina Pérez Ferrer, dentist of the Vitaldent Center for Higher Studies .
Proper oral hygiene (brushing the teeth after each meal without strong movements) causes the bristles of the brushes to weaken and bend. Therefore, to achieve proper brushing, the brush must be changed in order to avoid aging and deformation, as well as the aforementioned bacterial contamination. “A toothbrush in good condition helps us to prevent cavities, to remineralize incipient caries, to prevent gum problems …”, say doctors David Rose and Kate Telip, of the Dr Roze Clinic.
But between that we do not remember much when we started to use it, the laziness that changes it and that, at first glance, it seems that it can last a little longer, we tend to extend its useful life. The American Dental Association also suggests pulling the toothbrush every 3-4 months, because of the wear and tear and because the long-term bacterial growth on toothbrushes can be harmful to oral health.
What if we are the ones who brush their teeth twice a day instead of three? Can we extend the useful life of the aparatejo? “Indeed, the sows will last longer, but the accumulation of bacteria is the same,” says Carolina Pérez. “An old brush could cause periodontal diseases caused by the microorganisms present in it,” adds Marta Córdoba. And the cap does not protect it? “At Clínica Vilaboa, we advise against the use of brush protection caps, since they avoid drying the filaments in the air and keep them in a humidity environment that causes bacterial growth,” the dentists warn.
He is not a supporter of the use of the cap Dr. Bruno Baracco, Clinic Rosales , Clinic Baracco and member of the College of Dentists of Madrid ( COEM), who adds: “We must always clear the brush well after use and shake it vigorously, to avoid that there is water between the filaments. In fact, it should be dry whenever we are going to use it.
For this reason we do not recommend the caps that protect the head of the brushes, as they generate humidity and temperature conditions that favor the proliferation of bacteria. “They should be stored in an open place, away from sources of heat, without contact with brushes. of other people and as far as possible (even in another room) of the toilet, according to experts.Although it is hard to believe, usually there are faecal bacteria in toothbrushes . “Pulling the chain with the lid down is a good habit to reduce the dispersion of bacteria and the contamination of the brush in our bathroom, “they say in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
If, in addition, we have a caries, “there will be in this toothbrush cariogenic bacterial strains such as streptococcus mutans or lactobacillus, whose strains grow in it on a regular basis” says Carolina Pérez. Therefore, in these cases, the first thing that must be done is to treat the caries and then discard the used brush until that moment, even if the recommended time of use has not passed.
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