It is no secret that toothbrushes are not meant to last forever, however it can be hard to figure out when your toothbrush is nearing the end of its lifespan. According to manufacturer guidelines and dentist recommendations, you should be replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. There are also situations where you may need to replace your toothbrush sooner.
If you fail to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head regularly, it can affect your overall dental health and may spread infection.
How often should you change your manual toothbrush?
Your toothbrush is the first line of defence against any bacteria that causes gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. If you follow the standard recommendation of brushing your teeth twice a day, you are already taking the right steps to protect your teeth from cavities. Brushing two or more times a day is considered standard for a manual toothbrush, so at this rate, the bristles in your brush will start to lose effectiveness around three months. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control advise to replace your tooth brush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles look worn out.
How often should you change an electric toothbrush head?
Depending on the brand of electric toothbrush, they clean the surface area of your teeth by vibrating and/or oscillating quickly. Because electric toothbrushes have a mechanical component and clean teeth more thoroughly, they will wear down within 3 months. If the bristles lose their colour or appear frayed, it is time to change the electric toothbrush head, even if it is before the 3-month mark.
Alternative reasons to change your toothbrush
If you or a family member has been sick, it is a smart idea to replace your toothbrush as well as the toothbrush of any household member. Viral and bacterial infections are of concern and a great reason why you should replace your old toothbrush for a new one.
For children, you may want to change their toothbrushes more often than every three months, as they may chew on the toothbrush head. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your child when they are brushing their teeth to ensure that they aren’t exposing their brush to any other surface besides their teeth and tongue.
If anyone accidentally uses your toothbrush, throw it out. It is better to be safe than sorry as everyone’s mouth has different bacteria.
Another reason to change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head is if you find that the bristles are flaring out. This is a sign that you are brushing too hard and flared bristles become less effective in plaque and food removal. When you change your toothbrush after 3 months, the bristles should still be straight with only some loss of colour or frayed bristle tips. If you find yourself to be brushing too hard, you may also have tooth sensitivity. Brushing too hard with an electric toothbrush or manual toothbrush is extremely damaging to the gums and teeth, so make sure to routinely check for any flaring of the bristles.
At Soothing Care Dental, it is our duty to educate our patients on the best oral health practices. We are dedicated to providing high-quality professional dentistry and patient care and pride ourselves in offering guaranteed long-lasting natural results.