How Often should you change your toothbrush?

Hi, so you want to know how often should you change your toothbrush? We will tell you that in a minute but before we do that, we would like you to see some stats regarding how often toothbrushes are changed. On an average Americans change their toothbrush approximately 2 times a year. But do you know what the ADA (American Dental Association) recommends in this regard?  

The ADA recommends that you must change your toothbrush at least 4 times a year. Well, there you have it! However, you may be still wondering why do you need to change your toothbrush so often?  

Why do I need to change my toothbrush? 

It is important to change your toothbrush regularly for a number of reasons. The primary reason is that a toothbrush is a tool used to clean your teeth and if it does not perform the intended function then it must be replaced. 

How do I know my toothbrush needs to be replaced? 

There are many reasons that should prompt you to replace your toothbrush. We will be listing the major ones below – 

  1. The bristles of the toothbrush have become frayed. Bristles on the toothbrush help clean the teeth. If they become frayed or get chewed on, they lose their shape and may not end up cleaning the surface of the tooth as one wants them to. ADA recommends changing your toothbrush every 3 months or as soon as the bristles become frayed. 
  1. A toothbrush also gets dirty like any object. If a toothbrush is not cleaned properly after using it, there can be a buildup of bacteria on the surface of the toothbrush.  The older the brush the more the bacteria there can be on the toothbrush. Hence getting rid of the old and buying a new one is important so that you don’t end up transferring more bacteria into your mouth than removing.  
  1. If the bristles on your toothbrush have worn out that is a definite indication to throw the toothbrush out. Worn out bristles can be abrasive and can harm the soft tissue inside the mouth while brushing. Not only that they will not clean your teeth effectively making your teeth vulnerable to dental problems like plaque buildup, tooth decay and gum diseases. 
  1. If you have been sick recently due to any viral or bacterial infection, it is a good time to replace the old toothpaste with a new one because viruses and bacteria tend to linger on the surfaces of the toothbrush and you would not want to risk a reinfection now, would you? 
  1. It also depends on the kind of toothbrush you are using. Generally electric toothbrushes have shorter bristles than the manual ones and may therefore get worn out quicker than manual toothbrush. Hence electric toothbrushes may need head replacement more often than a manual toothbrush. 

Can I do something to make my toothbrush last longer? 

Well of course you can make your toothbrush last longer than the usual if you take care of a few things like – 

  1. Always make sure you clean your toothbrush after brushing your teeth. Rinse off the head with running water after every use. Do not use any cleaning agents to clean the head of the toothbrush. You may end up doing more harm than good. Chemicals from these cleaning agents can be extremely harmful for your mouth. 
  1. Don’t cover the toothbrush after cleaning if the bristles or brush is wet. A closed environment is the ideal environment for mold and bacteria to grow. Let the brush air dry after you rinse it. 
  1. Never ever share your toothbrush with another person. And don’t keep your toothbrush in a place where it will come in contact with toothbrushes to other people. Toothbrush heads touching each other can lead to spread of germs from one person to another. 
  1. Don’t sterilize your toothbrush in a microwave or using hot boiling water. The heat can damage the bristles. 
  1. Position your toothbrush vertically post rinsing it so that the bristles and brush can air dry quickly. 
  1. Keep the toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible. Every time the toilet is flushed the fecal matter and water rise into the air and these if they land on the toothbrush can make it dirty and harmful. 
  1. Use a toothpaste dispenser to avoid contact between your toothbrush and the toothpaste tube. This will prevent it from getting cross contaminated because generally a toothpaste is a shared resource in a bathroom. 

In conclusion we would like to just reiterate that your toothbrush can harbor germs and despite keeping it clean on a regular basis it will become dirty as you continue to use it. The effectiveness of the cleaning expected from a toothbrush also goes down with every usage and toothbrushes also wear out with time. 

Proper toothbrush care and storage is as important to oral hygiene as is replacing the old toothbrush with a new one. 

We hope you learnt something new after reading this blog. Please share it with your family and friends if you liked it. For any dental queries, you can always call Ensure Dental Care on 682-213-4114. You can also schedule an appointment with us. Ensure Dental Care offers emergency dental services. Regardless of your issue we offer same day emergency treatments. We entertain walk ins also. 

Ensure Dental Care your Saginaw Dentist is just 10 miles from Forth Worth. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced and professional team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you to the best of our abilities. 

About the Author

Dr. Rashi Muthal, your Saginaw Dentist, is a graduate from USC school of Dentistry at Los Angeles and has over 15 years of experience in the field of Dentistry. She prides herself on treating people with compassion, honesty, dignity, and respect.
Dr. Rashi is a member of multiple dental professional organizations including American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, Fort Worth Dental Society and American Orthodontic Society.

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