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How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

woman holding toothbrush

In general, you should replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months. That is a general guideline, however, in some cases, you should replace your toothbrush sooner.

Children, for example, tend to brush vigorously, so their toothbrush may need to be replaced more quickly. And if you’ve been sick or notice that your toothbrush has bent or worn bristles, it should be replaced immediately.

Why Does Your Toothbrush Need Replacing?

Bacteria and germs can be found on your toothbrush, but toothpaste can help fight these microorganisms. Even so, you may want to change your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, especially if you’ve had a bacterial infection such as strep or a virus like the flu.

When toothbrush bristles have become worn and frayed, they’ll be less effective at removing plaque and keeping your teeth clean and healthy. You’ll also have worn away the bristles’ softened edges, so you’ll be brushing your teeth with jagged ends.

You should make note of how quickly your toothbrush shows signs of wear. If it’s looking worn after just a month or so, you’re probably brushing too hard, which can wear away the protective enamel that covers your teeth.

How Should You Take Care of Your Toothbrush?

Taking care of your toothbrush in the following ways will help it last for a few months and help keep it in good shape:

  • Don’t apply too much pressure – When you’re brushing your teeth, you shouldn’t apply too much pressure. Not only can this cause your toothbrush to wear out too quickly, it can also damage your enamel and gum tissue. Since many people apply too much pressure when brushing, dentists sometimes recommend brushing your teeth using your non-dominant hand.
  • Store it properly – Don’t use a toothbrush cover to store your toothbrush. Instead of keeping germs out, it creates a breeding ground for microorganisms since it makes your toothbrush far more likely to stay wet. Instead, store your toothbrush upright so it dries thoroughly between uses.
  • Clean your brush between uses – Make sure to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after using it, and if you’d like to, you can soak it in alcohol or mouthwash for approximately 15 minutes to kill off germs. Any longer, may cause damage to bristles. (https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/brushing-and-flossing/is-it-necessary-to-sanitize-your-toothbrush-0513)

Regular dental care is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. It’s especially important to change your toothbrush when needed. To learn more, speak to your Dental365 dentist during your next visit. Make an appointment or stop by one of the many convenient New York area offices. We have offices open seven days a week with extended weekday hours for your convenience, and we welcome walk-ins.

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