28 July 2004

Toothbrushes as Health Hazards

Other than asking you how often you brush your teeth, perhaps the more important question now is:
How often do you change your toothbrush?
You may think that's an insignificant question but guess again.

The average American replaces his toothbrush 1.9 times a year. I wonder how often an average Filipino replaces his. Maybe once in a blue moon?

Streptococcus, staphylococcus, influenza and herpes simplex organisms (which are bacteria and viruses) thrive on your toothbrush according to researchers. The water and food particles left in the toothbrush after you brush serve as their breeding ground and nutrition.

The usual recommendation by dental associations is that toothbrushes should be replaced every 3 to 4 months or at least 4 times a year. They also advise replacement when you notice the bristles beginning to show wear, and after an illness like a cold or flu. In my opinion, 3 months is a long time to wait for you to change your toothbrush. By that time, there might already be communities and communities of organisms thriving in your toothbrush. Changing your toothbrush weekly or monthly seems to be ideal.

A recent NYT health article recommends changing tootbrush every 2 weeks and more often if you get colds and flu as people "recovering from an illness reinfect themselves by using the same toothbrush." It also said that electric or motorized toothbrushes "attract more germs and can be hard on your gums." Using a manual brush with a small, clear head is better.

For more information on toothbrushing, click on the link below:

How to Keep a Clean Toothbrush

Happy toothbrushing, everyone!

1 reactions:

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!