When Should You Change Your Toothbrush?


When Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

You likely replace your toothbrush when you visit the dentist and go home with a new one for free, but did you know that you probably should be replacing your toothbrush more frequently than your dental visits?

That’s right. Toothbrushes wear out, and when they do, they can’t clean your teeth and gums as effectively as when they’re new. As a result, your regular oral hygiene routine will not be nearly as effective, putting you at risk of developing oral health problems like periodontal (gum) disease and cavities.

So, How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

If you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes twice a day, then you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacement schedules.

For manual toothbrushes, this usually means getting a new toothbrush every three to four months.

Electric toothbrush heads move rapidly, getting in way more brushstrokes per two minutes of brushing than manual toothbrushes. As a result, they wear out faster. For electric toothbrush heads, you might need to replace your brush head every month or two, depending on your toothbrush’s model.


Other Times to Replace Your Toothbrush

If you brush more frequently than twice a day, your toothbrush will take on more wear and tear. As a result, you’ll need to replace it sooner than the manufacturer’s recommended time.

You can recognize when a toothbrush needs to be replaced by taking a careful look at its bristles. A good toothbrush’s bristles will stand up straight and spring back to their original position when pressed down. If your toothbrush needs to be replaced, its bristles will look frayed and bent. Also, they won’t retain their original shape.

In addition to replacing a toothbrush that is worn out, you should also get a new toothbrush or toothbrush head after you’ve been sick. It’s unlikely that you’ll make yourself sick again, but bacteria and viruses hanging out on your toothbrush can inadvertently infect other members of your household.

If your household shares a tube of toothpaste, the virus or bacteria from your toothbrush can get on the tube and then be transferred to other toothbrushes, infecting their users. Germs from your toothbrush can also be transferred to other toothbrushes if they bump against each other in a toothbrush cup or the medicine cabinet.

To learn more about healthy brushing habits, we welcome you to contact Cardinal Dental today!