How often should I change my toothbrush?

Almost everything we use needs maintenance, repairs, or replacement. Your toothbrush is no different! Our toothbrush is there to keep our teeth clean and help to remove plaque, but when is it time for a change? 

When should I change my toothbrush?

American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. This can be different for each person. 

You should be on the lookout for worn or frayed bristles on your toothbrush because brushing with an old toothbrush can damage the teeth and gums. It also won’t clean teeth effectively, which can contribute to tooth decay. 

This also depends on how often you brush. Dentists recommend brushing twice a day, but some have to brush more often. If you prefer to brush after each meal or a sugary snack, you may have to change your toothbrush sooner.  

You may need a new toothbrush sooner if you were recently sick. For example, if you are diagnosed with Strep throat, professionals recommend you replace your toothbrush after 2 to 3 days before finishing antibiotics so you don’t reinfect yourself. 

Remember to never share your toothbrush with anyone, not even a family member. This can spread germs between your mouths.  

Storing your toothbrush 

When you finish brushing, it is a good practice to rinse off your toothbrush with tap water to remove any bacteria, debris, or extra toothpaste. 

The best way to store your toothbrush is in an upright position, letting it air dry. If kept in a closed container without open air, the moist environment will be a good place for harmful bacteria to grow. 

Toothbrush types

Manual toothbrush

There is a diverse selection of manual toothbrushes available. They come in different strengths; soft, medium, and hard along with different shapes; curved or straight bristles. Most commercial toothbrushes are made with nylon bristles, which last long and clean very effectively.

Dental professionals recommend soft-bristle toothbrushes because they are not too harsh on the gum line. If you have gum disease it’s also great to use soft bristles, so as not to cause additional damage to the gum line. 

Electric toothbrush

While both manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes are well suited for our dental health, an electric toothbrush may be the best option for people with mobility problems. It’s also easier to use for children. 

Your Electric toothbrush head must be changed every 3 to 4 months as well. Electric toothbrush heads typically have the same brand and type designed for your electric toothbrush. 

This can be pricey, but it is necessary for the toothbrush to clean teeth effectively. If you can, keep a brush head or two at home so you can change it when it’s time. 

A visit with us 

We really hope this article helped you understand how to use your toothbrush properly and especially how often you should change it for better oral health. 

If despite your best efforts your oral health still needs attention, our dental professionals here at Benicia Oral Surgery are happy to examine you. Schedule an appointment here today! 

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