How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?
It’s easy to know when to replace your car’s oil or when to replace the water filter in your refrigerator. But here is the million dollar question… When should you replace your toothbrush? And like many of us, as kids we were never taught about this issue and continued to use our toothbrush for a prolonged period of time.
Toothbrushes should be replaced based on the amount of usage, health and preferences. Before you pick up that brush again, ask yourself whether it’s time for a new toothbrush.
When To Pick Up A New Toothbrush
When to replace your toothbrush should not be a mystery to anyone. We recommend replacing toothbrushes every three to four months. Especially if you have been sick or if your toothbrush has been stored next to other toothbrushes. When in doubt, look at the bristles of your toothbrush: if they are frayed or damaged, it’s time to replace them because they won’t clean your teeth thoroughly. Children often brush their teeth more rigorously than adults, in this case they may need their toothbrushes replaced more often.
Types Of Toothbrushes
Every time we go toothbrush shopping we undergo a menu of different levels of hardness or whether we need a manual or electric brush, and it can all be a little confusing. When it comes down to which brush to go with, we always recommend to go with the brush that you feel most comfortable using on a daily basis. A quick tip for you if you’re a “strong toothbrusher” and apply pressure while brushing, you should consider a softer toothbrush head because it will minimize the impact on your teeth and gums.
Choosing Between Manual and Electric Toothbrushes
A manual toothbrush is portable and ready for use when you need it. It makes no noise or vibration, and you will have complete control over the pressure it puts on your teeth and gums.
An electric toothbrush requires a little more maintenance such as batteries or taking the time to charge it, and it’s a bit more of hassle when traveling. However, the rotating movement of the bristles makes cleaning between the teeth and the gum line much easier. Many electric toothbrushes have a built-in sensors that tells you if you have brushed long enough or if you’re pressing too hard. When deciding between the two, think about the time you have to brush your teeth and again, which ever makes you feel comfortable to use on a daily basis.
Maintaining Your Toothbrush
A rule of thumb to live by is that no matter what toothbrush you use, try your best to keep it clean. The American Dental Association recommends rinsing the toothbrush under tap water every time you brush your teeth to wash away any lingering toothpaste and saliva. Then, when it’s time to store away the toothbrush, hang it in a vertical position so the bristles can dry.
There’s a misconception when it comes to keeping your toothbrush clean. Storing your toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, so it’s best to let the bristles fully dry between usages. If you’re traveling, consider using disposable toothbrushes you can use during your trip.
So, how long until you replace your toothbrush? Well, we suggest replacing them every three to four months. However, the frequency you should change your toothbrush also depends on several factors, but it’s always best to have a new, fresh toothbrush available.
About Ramon Bana, DDS
Dr. Bana’s patients describe him as down-to-earth, professional and full of heart. He is talented and strives to make each patient leave the office feeling better than when they arrived. Patient comfort is his top priority, and patients say they feel like extended family. He is dedicated to his practice, patients and team – and it shows. Dr. Bana loves coming to work because his work changes people for the better. Patients leave his care healthier, happier and with brighter smiles.