How Often to Replace Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush makes many trips inside your mouth to give you that fresh feeling you get once your teeth have gotten their bath in paste. More importantly, the brush helps to give cavities and gum disease at bay. Besides the obvious visual check for wear on the bristles, are there guidelines for how often you should change your toothbrush?

How Often to Replace Your Toothbrush

General Guidelines

You can ask Park Slope family dentistry experts for their opinion, tailored to your specific oral health situation. In general, you should replace a brush every three months if you’ve been brushing the recommended two times day. People with braces and children tend to need more frequent replacement. When your bristles start to bend, it’s time to toss the brush and get a new one.

When you do buy a new brush, make sure that it’s small enough to fit easily in your mouth. Most people do best with soft bristles. Be sure to brush with gentle, circular motions around your teeth. 

Store your toothbrush upright to dry, without any plastic covers.

After You’ve Been Sick

Strep throat and colds seem to spread like wildfire through families. Prevent re-infection and further spread of germs by throwing out toothbrushes if you have been sick. 

Of course, you’ll need to pay for a new toothbrush. Look for bulk deals at warehouse stores and online. The cost of treating a new infection caused by a used toothbrush in terms of doctors visits and medications will easily exceed the price of a new toothbrush.

You may be an environmentalist who hates to throw away plastic. There’s good news. Disposable toothbrushes and toothpaste tube can be recycled through a mail-in program. You can look online for toothbrushes made from recycled plastic. One company even offers biodegradable toothbrushes.

Replace your toothbrush every three months, unless your dentist makes another recommendation. Toss your old toothbrush if you’ve been sick.