How often should you change your toothbrush?
We all know that we need to change our toothbrush every so often, but how frequently should we be replacing our toothbrush? The answer to this depends on how often you're using your toothbrush and if you've been sick.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
If you're using your toothbrush twice a day for 2 minutes each use then you should be replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. However, if you notice that your bristles are fraying before the 3 month mark then consider replacing your toothbrush as soon as possible.
If you're brushing less than twice a day (let's hope this is not the case) or if you have a brush that you only use when you travel, sleep over, etc. consider replacing this brush every 6 months.
If you have been sick you should consider replacing (and isolating) your toothbrush right away, this will help reduce the changes of spreading the bacterial to anyone else in your household via toothbrushes contacting one another.
Why is it important to replace your toothbrush this frequently?
As bristles start to fray they become less effective at removing plaque that accumulates on your teeth and near the gum line. They may also accumulate potentially harmful bacteria that may be reintroduced to your mouth. More plaque accumulation on your teeth and gums means a greater risk for possible tooth decay and gum disease.
Therefore, to guarantee that your bristles are as effective as they can be and that bacterial levels are kept to the least, consider replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. This is the "guideline" that I give to my patients that use regular and electric toothbrushes.
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