How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

Medically reviewed by Dr Gloria Kong, BDS, Queen’s University Belfast, U.K

One of the most important habits you can put into place is brushing your teeth. However, if you are not brushing with the proper tools or techniques, you could actually be causing more harm than good! In order to effectively clean your teeth, you must use a toothbrush that is in good condition.

Although you may receive a new toothbrush during your bi-annual teeth cleaning appointments, it is recommended that you replace your toothbrush more often than every six months! Most experts suggest replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. There are, however, a few reasons you may need to replace your toothbrush more often.

Why Do You Need to Replace Your Toothbrush?

One of the most important habits you can put into place is brushing your teeth. However, if you are not brushing with the proper tools or techniques, you could actually be causing more harm than good! In order to effectively clean your teeth, you must use a toothbrush that is in good condition.

Although you may receive a new toothbrush during your bi-annual teeth cleaning appointments, it is recommended that you replace your toothbrush more often than every six months! Most experts suggest replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. There are, however, a few reasons you may need to replace your toothbrush more often.

When to Replace Your Toothbrush

There are several reasons why you should replace your toothbrush regularly. It is helpful to keep a spare toothbrush on hand so you will be ready to replace the toothbrush you are using as needed.

Every Three to Four Months

As a general rule, you should be replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. Switching to a new toothbrush helps eliminate bacteria and ensures that your toothbrush bristles are in excellent condition. A toothbrush that is in great shape will be able to clean your teeth and gums much more effectively.

Following an Illness

When you are sick, excess bacteria and germs congregate in your mouth. However, many of our patients forget about these lingering germs once they have recovered from their illness! It is wise to replace your toothbrush following any type of sickness to eliminate a potential reoccurrence.

When It’s Showing Signs of Wear

The bristles of a toothbrush easily show signs of wear. It is important to replace your toothbrush if the bristles begin to appear frayed or broken. Not only do worn-out bristles clean your teeth less effectively but they can also cause abrasions on the gums and soft tissue of the mouth. These small lacerations can easily become infected with bacteria which leads to much larger issues.

If your toothbrush consistently shows signs of wear in the first month or two, it is possible that you are brushing your teeth too aggressively. Talk to your dental care team to assess your brushing technique to ensure it is not damaging your teeth.

After Travelling

Another situation that warrants a new toothbrush is after returning home from travel. When you travel, your toothbrush is often closed in a cosmetic bag that lacks proper ventilation. It is wise to replace your toothbrush after returning from travels to ensure that your toothbrush remains free of harmful bacteria.

Replacing your toothbrush on a routine basis is just one of many ways you can take care of your teeth and gums, encouraging a healthy smile. Talk to your dental care team during your next visit for more information on proper toothbrushing tools and techniques!

  • It may shock you to learn how little time you spend brushing your teeth.
  • If the two minutes you spend brushing your teeth seems never-ending, it is likely because you are overlooking one (or several) important areas.
  • The best way to brush your teeth thoroughly is to work from one side of your mouth to the other.
  • One of the primary reasons many people rush through their toothbrushing is because they leave it until the last minute.

Toothbrush Techniques

Timing is one of the most important factors in a proper brushing routine. Rushing through this part of your day can cause cavities, gum disease, or other dental problems. There are a few ways to ensure you are spending the appropriate amount of time cleaning your teeth each day.

  • Use a Toothbrush Timer. It may shock you to learn how little time you spend brushing your teeth. Whether you spend a lot of time or not much at all, it’s always wise to get an idea of areas in which you can improve your oral health. Next time you brush your teeth, grab a timer!
  • Follow a Brushing Plan. If the two minutes you spend brushing your teeth seems never-ending, it is likely because you are overlooking one (or several) important areas. Following a plan and brushing your teeth in the same way each time will help you avoid this problem!
  • The best way to brush your teeth thoroughly is to work from one side of your mouth to the other. First brushing the inner surface, moving on to the outer surface, and finally cleaning the chewing surface of the tooth. Repeat this pattern until you have successfully worked your way to the other side.
  • Make Brushing Your Teeth a Priority. One of the primary reasons many people rush through their toothbrushing is because they leave it until the last minute. Clean, healthy teeth impact more than just your smile! Oral health has been linked to many types of health concerns, some of which are rather serious.

The best way to make sure you successfully spend two minutes brushing your teeth twice each day is to make it a priority. The way this is done will vary depending on the person. However, by dedicating time to this crucial task, you will ensure that your oral health is the best that it can be.

For more information on brush tips and techniques, or to schedule your next appointment,contact us here. 

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