When was the last time that you bought a new toothbrush? Although it might not seem harmful and a bit practical even to make use of your toothbrush for extended periods of time, this practice actually puts the user to a lot of risks. According to the United Kingdom’s largest oral health charity, old toothbrushes are believed to the breeding ground for bacteria and germs.

A considerable number of studies have suggested that repeated bacterial infection in the mouth is caused by toothbrushes. The bristles of the brush can serve as a medium for growth and reproduction of bacteria. At the same time, the toothbrush can also transmit these organisms to the user which may then cause the development of various diseases. However, previous surveys have also found out that almost two-thirds of the population does not change toothbrushes for every three months.

According to Dr. Carter, toothbrushes may seem like ordinary tools but if you think about it they are being used at least twice a day for months on end. However, toothbrushes are rarely cleaned and they are stored in environments that are warm and moist which only serves to promote bacterial growth. And even with this, only a small segment of society is aware that their toothbrushes might be causing them harm.

The very simple solution to this health dilemma is to replace toothbrushes for every three months. By replacing toothbrushes, individuals can keep themselves from falling ill to preventable diseases. The manner wherein toothbrushes infect their users can be as simple as re-infecting the user with the flu or cold virus that one once caught a long time ago. An old toothbrush that is laden with bacteria can cause an entire slew of ear, nose and throat infections.

For those who are using electric toothbrushes, the heads can be extremely cheap. And even if one has to spend a couple of dollars a year for four toothbrushes, this cost seems minute as compared to the sick days that one will be forced to take and the medications that the doctor will have to prescribe. But if one is concerned with the amount of toothbrush that needs to be disposed in a year, there are a lot of products which are used to disinfect toothbrushes. However, the effectiveness of these products is still debatable. Dr. Carter suggests that old toothbrushes be recycled by using them for household chores instead.

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