How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

Like everything else we use on a regular basis, toothbrushes wear out. If you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes two times each day, then you will likely need to replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months.

Top 3 Ways to Know When It's Time to Replace Your Toothbrush

1. When the Manufacturer Recommends

Each toothbrush or electric toothbrush head is different. The bristles are constructed differently and are made from different materials. As a result, it’s best that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended replacement schedule. For regular toothbrushes, replacement is usually recommended every three or four months. The replacement schedule for electric toothbrush heads is typically more frequent since the bristles are usually shorter and brush more vigorously.

If you brush your teeth more frequently than two times a day, then you might need to replace your toothbrush sooner than recommended. Keep reading to learn how to recognize a worn-out toothbrush.

2. When the Bristles Are Worn

You can tell when a toothbrush is worn by paying attention to its bristles. They should be soft enough that they’re gentle on your gums, but stiff enough that they can dislodge food particles and plaque. Your toothbrush’s bristles should stand upright and spring back to shape. Once they start to fray or lay in at a different angle, the toothbrush is worn out and won’t clean your teeth as effectively as it should.

Even if your toothbrush hasn’t lasted as long as the manufacturer promised, you should replace it as soon as you see signs of wear and tear.

3. Following Illness

Toothbrushes are a perfect breeding ground for germs, and they can harbor both bacteria and viruses. Although you aren’t likely to reinfect yourself with a virus, you can contract bacterial diseases a second time. If you share a tube of toothpaste or your toothbrush shares space with anyone else’s in your household, you could certainly infect other members of your family.

Anytime anyone in the household has been sick, it’s safest for the whole family to start fresh with new toothbrushes.

Don't Wait for Your Annual Dental Exam to Get a New Toothbrush

Most patients visit the dentist once a year. So, although you might leave each of your dental exams with a new toothbrush and fresh floss in hand, you should probably be replacing your toothbrush much more frequently.

To learn more about toothbrush replacements and toothbrush hygiene or to schedule a professional dental cleaning, contact Schaffer Dental Excellence in San Diego today.