You know you need to replace your toothbrush, and yet it’s so tempting to keep it just a little while longer…surely it won’t hurt to get a few more weeks of use out of it, right? Well, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but it’s actually quite important to switch out your toothbrush regularly. So how often should you buy a new toothbrush? We answer this question below.
Toothbrush Replacement Schedule
We won’t leave you waiting for the answer—you should replace your toothbrush every 3 months. To help with this, we gift you a new brush at every 6-monthly Oral Hygiene appointment. Yes, we are that committed to excellent oral hygiene.
When you brush the recommended two minutes twice a day, your toothbrush bristles are bound to become worn and broken down by this time. If the bristles start looking frayed and bent, that means they’re not as effective at removing plaque and food particles when you brush, which can mean we’ll find cavities at your next preventive care appointment.
Of course, that’s not the only reason to replace your brush. There’s also the germ factor. Rinsing your brush each time you use it isn’t sufficient to eliminate all the bacteria that builds up in the bristles, the grooves on the handles—basically, all over your brush. Even fungus and mold can form in the nooks and crannies of a toothbrush, particularly if it’s not allowed the opportunity to dry after each use.
When Else to Replace Your Toothbrush
Although it’s recommended that you buy a new toothbrush every 3 months, there are other times when you should toss out your old brush and invest in a new one. After you’ve been sick—even if it was just a minor cold—you should replace your toothbrush to minimize the risk of reinfection.
Anytime your bristles are looking worn out, you should replace your brush as well, no matter how old it is. Bent or fanned out bristles can be damaging to your gums and leave you at higher risk for gingivitis and tooth decay because they’re not able to do an adequate job keeping your mouth clean. If you notice that you’re needing to replace your brush more frequently than every 3 months, it’s a sign that you’re using too much pressure when you brush your teeth. Read our guide on how to properly brush your teeth and try easing up and you should be able to extend the lifespan of your toothbrushes.
Keeping Track of When to Buy a New Toothbrush
Even when you fully intend to replace your toothbrush every 3 months, it might be hard for you to remember when that is!
There are some toothbrushes that have special color-changing bristles to let you know when it’s time to replace your brush. These are helpful for many of our patients, but others simply don’t pay enough attention to their brushes to notice the change.
Setting an alarm on your phone can be helpful too, although an even easier option is to set up an auto-ship order online to have your favorite toothbrush delivered to you on a 3-month schedule.