March 14th | Stephanie L. Kaplan, DDS

How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

A blog by Jamye:

How often should I change by toothbrush? I find that this question is being asked more often in our office. Most people assume that they should only change their brush every 6 months when they receive a new one from the dentist at their routine cleaning. However, you should change your toothbrush at least every 3 to 4 months and sometimes sooner, especially if you have been sick. These recommendations are for both manual and power brushes.

Toothbrush bristles are what remove the plaque, build-up and bacteria from your teeth when you brush. Over time, these bristles become frayed and weak, thus lessening the strength of the brush. As the bristles become frayed, they no longer remove the build up as effectively as before and are not efficiently getting in between your teeth. If you notice your bristles fraying, you will want to replace your brush sooner. This is not uncommon as some people brush more vigorously than others and will require replacement of brushes sooner than 3 to 4 months.

If you have been sick, it is important that you change your toothbrush afterward as the brush will carry the bacteria from your mouth. If you do not change the brush, you can risk passing along the germs to your family if you share a common place to store your toothbrushes. You can also reintroduce the bacterias into your body by using the same brush.

Children’s brushes may need to be replaced more often than an adult as they tend to chew on their brushes or “scrub” a little harder than adults as they are learning to the proper techniques of brushing.

I would recommend always having extra brushes available for the family as you never know when you will need to replace one due to the wear and tear on the brush and/or sickness.