How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

Post Date: Jul 26, 2023

If you can’t remember the last time you got a new toothbrush, you’re not alone. It’s easy to forget about your toothbrush when you’re not actively brushing your teeth. But brushing twice a day and flossing daily aren’t the only routine care measures to take for a healthy mouth. Switching your toothbrush out regularly is also an important step. Here are a few of the reasons to replace your toothbrush and how often you should make the switch.

Why you need to change your toothbrush

Toothbrushes can become breeding grounds for the very bacteria that you’re trying to clean out of your mouth when you brush. These germs form plaque, a fuzzy layer you might have felt on your teeth after drinking sugary drinks, eating starchy foods, or not brushing your teeth for a while.

If you don’t switch out your toothbrush regularly, you’ll start to see frayed bristles. That means that your toothbrush can’t clean your teeth as well. That leaves plaque behind and can lead to the formation of tartar, a hardened form of plaque. Tartar is the destructive force behind cavities and gum disease. So changing out your toothbrush is important to making your daily brushing habit as effective as possible.

How often to swap your brush out

Dentists recommend changing out your toothbrush at least every three to four months. That’s usually when you’ll start to see those frayed bristles. It’s a good habit to get into. If you have a hard time remembering, set a reminder in your calendar or write the date you need to switch on the bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker.

But if you’re sick with a cold or the flu, you might want to switch your brush out when you recover, even if it’s sooner than three to four months. Bacteria on your brush could potentially reinfect you or get someone in your house sick. Switch your toothbrush after illness as an extra step to staying healthy.

How to care for your toothbrush in between

Let your toothbrush dry out in between uses. If you’re traveling or you store your brush in a sealed container at home, do your best to give it time to air dry before you put it away. Some dental pros recommend alternating between two brushes so they can both have time to dry out.

You should also avoid storing toothbrushes from different family members in the same container. That just helps stop the spread of germs and can keep your household healthy.

Other steps to take in caring for your teeth

Make an appointment to get your regular checkup and professional cleaning once every six months or so. In between, be sure to brush twice a day, floss at least once a day, and do your best to maintain a healthy-teeth diet. That means limiting sugar in food or drinks and getting nutrients through fiber-rich fresh vegetables like kale, spinach, carrots and celery.

When it’s time for you to make your next appointment, CHP offers affordable care on a sliding scale at dental clinics in Bozeman and Livingston. Don’t let financial uncertainty keep you from caring for your mouth. Make an appointment, and get professional help to make you smile bigger.