Woman holding toothbrushes deciding when she should change her toothbrush.

How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

Good dental hygiene doesn’t just include brushing and flossing. It also entails the maintenance of your dental supplies, such as your toothbrush. When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Toothbrushes don’t last forever and do wear out over time. Not swapping your old one out for a new clean brush can lead to dental health issues that could normally be prevented. So, how often should you change your toothbrush?

If It’s Frayed, Throw It Away – When To Toss Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you change your toothbrush every three to four months. This helps to keep bristles intact and effective at removing plaque from your teeth and gums. Studies have shown that after three months, bristles begin to break down and become less effective.

Electric toothbrushes have become extremely popular, and just as you need to change your toothbrush out every so often, you also need to replace the head of your electric toothbrush if that’s what you use. Because the nylon bristles of electric toothbrushes tend to be shorter than manual toothbrushes, they tend to wear out sooner and need to be replaced more often. It’s a good idea to change your electric toothbrush head every three months. Depending, you may need to replace it sooner if the bristles begin to show wear due to the quick spinning motions.

Along with general wear, there are other circumstances that should drive you to toss your old toothbrush, even before the three-month recommendation. For example, if you’ve been sick with a viral or bacterial infection, you should replace your toothbrush and your family members’ toothbrushes to prevent the spreading of germs and bacteria. Also, if someone else uses your toothbrush by mistake, get a new one to avoid risking infection from their oral bacteria.

old toothbrush that needs to be changed

Why You Need A Fresh Brush

Now that you know when you need to change your toothbrush, let’s talk about why you need to change it out. It’s a given that when your toothbrush is worn out, it won’t be able to clean your teeth properly. But there’s more to just inadequate brushing when using an old toothbrush.

When you can’t brush your teeth effectively because you have worn or frayed bristles, you run the risk of leaving plaque and food debris in your mouth. This can lead to dental problems, including bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Even if your toothbrush looks fine, bacteria could be lurking in between your bristles. This can happen normally, but especially when you’re sick. Swapping your “sick toothbrush” for a clean one can prevent reinfection.

And because most toothbrushes are stored in a dark, damp place, mold and yeast can begin to develop and be transferred right into your mouth via your toothbrush. A 2011 study discovered that the germiest spot in your bathroom isn’t your toilet but is actually your toothbrush holder. That alone should make you want to change your toothbrush right now.

Make Your Toothbrush Last Longer

The frequency of replacing your toothbrush or toothbrush head can vary based on the factors discussed above. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure your toothbrush is in good condition.

  • Always rinse off your toothbrush after brushing.
  • Store your toothbrush in an upright position so that it can air dry completely.
  • Don’t store your toothbrush in a closed container. If you are traveling, let it dry before placing it back in its travel case.
  • Don’t store your toothbrush where it can touch someone else’s.
  • When it’s time for a new one, throw out the old toothbrush. Don’t try to clean your old brush head with mouthwash or soap.

Contact VIPcare Dental Today!

Changing your toothbrush often is vital to good oral hygiene. Set a reminder on your phone or a sticky note, so you don’t forget to get a replacement brush when your three or four months are up. Using a good toothbrush along with getting routine dental cleanings will help improve your oral health and keep your teeth and gums healthy and beautiful. Contact VIPcare Dental to schedule your appointment today!