How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months. However, you should replace your toothbrush earlier if it’s showing signs of wear and tear, such as frayed or flattened bristles that extend beyond the width of the base. This is extremely important for maintaining optimal dental hygiene.
If your toothbrush is starting to look worse for wear before the three-month mark, this could be a sign that you’re brushing too much or too hard. This can damage the enamel layer of your teeth and your gums, so be sure to brush in small, gentle circles with light pressure, rather than scrubbing back and forth. Brush up on your technique at your next dental visit, where we can make sure you are using the correct brushing technique. A soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended and has been proven to brush more effectively and with less harm than a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush.
Electric or vibrating toothbrush heads can wear out faster than manual brushes, as the nylon bristles are shorter, and are subject to quick spinning motions in order to properly clean your teeth. Regardless of how good the brush head appears, you should only use spinning toothbrush heads for a maximum of 3 months.
If you or a family member has been sick, especially in the case of viral and bacterial infections, you can stop the spread of disease by replacing every toothbrush in the house. Another reason for replacing your toothbrush earlier than the 3-month mark would be if someone else used your toothbrush by mistake. It’s a good idea to start using a new toothbrush rather than risk infection from the bacteria in someone else’s mouth.
It’s important to always keep your toothbrush in a clean and dry environment, trying not to cover the brush head, as leaving the head wet after brushing can breed bacteria.
In summary, here are the top 5 reasons to replace your toothbrush every 3 months:
- Help reduce the risk for bacterial infection
- When your bristles are worn they aren’t as effective
- Worn bristles can damage your tooth’s enamel
- Prevent reinfection after you’ve been sick
- Prevent exposure to microorganisms or bacteria growing on your brush head
Happy, healthy brushing!