Fox Dental | Dentist in Lemoyne, New Cumberland and Camp Hill

toothbrush_fox

How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush

Brushing can become such an ingrained habit that you might not always think about when the last time you replaced your toothbrush. If you’ve been using the same one for several months it may be time to replace it with a new one. Staying on top of replacing your toothbrush when it’s necessary can help to prevent you from getting sick and ensure that your teeth are being cleaned as well as they possibly can. 

When to replace your toothbrush

Both dentists and manufacturers of toothbrushes recommend that you replace your toothbrush with a new one every three to four months. If you’re abiding by the recommendation that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, this is the amount of time that you’ll want to stick to. One of the major reasons why it’s important to replace your toothbrush after this amount of time is the bristles begin to lose their rigidity and become frayed. If you’re brushing with a toothbrush that has frayed bristles, your teeth aren’t getting as clean as they can. These frayed bristles have a hard time reaching between your teeth and cleaning along the gum line effectively.

Additionally, germs can hang out on your toothbrush. Bacteria can stick around on the bristles and can even transfer to your toothpaste, making it possible to get others who share the toothpaste to become sick. 

When you should replace your toothbrush more frequently

For some people, brushing is something that they do more than twice a day. Perhaps you feel the need to do so after a sugary food or after each meal, which can be a great thing for your oral health. However, this may mean that your toothbrush will deteriorate more rapidly due to the added use. 

Further, if you use an electric toothbrush, the manufacturer may have specific replacement times for their toothbrush. It’s important to read all of the instructions for your electric toothbrush before use. Since electric toothbrush heads can be a special design and may cost more as a result, it’s still very important to abide by the recommended lifespan. These may also see added wear and tear due to the vibrating or rotating motion of the toothbrush as well. 

Another situation which might warrant throwing away and replacing toothbrushes is if someone in the family becomes sick. It isn’t likely that you’ll infect yourself with the same virus, but it is possible for that virus to transfer if your toothbrush is stored in close proximity to your family’s toothbrushes. 

Conclusion

Using a toothbrush that’s clean and functioning properly can help promote your overall oral health. Beyond replacing it every 3-4 months depending on your habits, it’s also important to keep an eye on the bristles after you brush. They can be the biggest sign of deterioration if they’re frayed. Bristles should be springy and resilient. If you have any questions about your oral routine, feel free to schedule a visit with us and we can answer any questions you might have!