How often should you replace your toothbrush?

I was recently talking to a friend who had no idea how often you should replace a toothbrush. As a dental professional I thought she was crazy doing it every 6 months or so… But it made me realize most people are completely unaware of how often and/or why your toothbrush should be changed out.

Imagine your toothbrush to be food. We put it in our mouths but after a certain period of time we have to throw it out because it became old and not safe for us to eat. Your toothbrush will in time become old and unsafe to use. Rule of thumb per most dentists is every 3 months. After 3 months, if used as it should, the bristles on your brush become dull and ineffective. This means your gums and teeth are not being cleaned appropriately and can lead to gum disease, gingivitis, cavities, and even loss of teeth. You can even get sick from an old toothbrush. As time goes by your toothbrush can collect mold and bacteria. If ingested you could wind up very ill. Ive listed a couple reasons why you should immediately change out your toothbrush. If these do not apply stick to the dentist recommended every 3 months.

  • Sickness – Head cold, flu, tooth infection, throat infection, etc. You will want to change out your toothbrush immediately to avoid reoccurring infection that may have latched onto your toothbrush
  • Toilets – Keep your toothbrush away from any toilets as you can end up with “particles” on your brush and no one wants that
  • If you see dark color changes on your toothbrush – This is a sign of mold and your toothbrush should be changed out immediately

Here are also a few tips on how to keep a healthy toothbrush:

  • When traveling always use a toothbrush cover. These can be found in most stores in the toothbrush or travel section
  • Keep away from toilets
  • Replace every 3 months or after any illness
  • After use, rinse and dry thoroughly
  • Store in the upright position
  • Do not keep where other toothbrush bristles may touch

If you have any questions you can always consult your Dentist or contact us to schedule an appointment.