How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush, Really? It’s probably more often than you think
Just like replacing your favorite pair of shoes, changing your toothbrush really depends on you and your habits.
Your usage, health, and personal preferences should all be considered when deciding when to replace your toothbrush. If you’re brushing your teeth with a worn-out toothbrush, you’re not really getting all of the benefits that brushing can provide offer. A frayed toothbrush won’t clean your teeth as thoroughly as you need it to.
But, how often should you really change your toothbrush? Here are a few signs that it’s time to replace it.
It’s looking a little frayed.
The American Dental Association (ADA) says it’s a good idea to get a brand-new toothbrush every three to four months. But as we mentioned above, it mostly depends on the individual person. For example, people with braces will see their bristles become frayed sooner than someone without braces.
Children’s toothbrushes need to be replaced more often as well. As a general rule of thumb, replace your toothbrush sooner than the recommended three to four months if you notice it’s looking frayed and worn. (Especially if you are using an electric toothbrush, it’s important to change out the brush heads every 3 months like clock-work. Because with the number of brush strokes generated per minute with the electric toothbrush, the bristles will wear out even faster than with a manual toothbrush.)
You’ve had a cold or other illness.
If you’ve recently been sick, it’s smart to go ahead and change out your toothbrush no matter how new it may be. Replacing your toothbrush after having a cold or flu, mouth or throat infection, or a mouth sore will keep you from re-exposing yourself to those germs.
Maintaining your toothbrush
After getting a new toothbrush, it’s important to do everything you can to keep it bacteria free. The ADA recommends rinsing your toothbrush in tap water after brushing. This will get rid of any leftover saliva or toothpaste.
You might have heard someone mention you should store your toothbrush in a sealed container, but this can actually cause bacteria buildup. Instead, placing your toothbrush in a vertical position where it can air dry is actually the best way to store your toothbrush in between uses.
Buying new, fresh toothbrushes several times a year is a good idea to keep your family’s teeth clean and healthy. Plus, kids love picking out a new toothbrush!