If you’re like most people, you get a new toothbrush after your semi-annual cleaning at the dentist’s office. Since these checkups are usually bi-annual, most people assume they should be changing out their toothbrush after each visit, or roughly every six months. But is this an accurate timeline? Learn when you should swap out your toothbrush and what signs suggest you should invest in a new one.
Changing Your Toothbrush
Before we answer the question as to when you should replace your toothbrush, let’s take a look at some signs that suggest you should look for a new brush.
- The Bristles are Bending – If the bristles are frayed or bent and no longer staying straight, they aren’t going to be as effective as a newer toothbrush.
- Hardened Bristles – Over time, bristles can harden, and even if you clean out any toothpaste that may stick to the bristles after every wash, if the bristles are hardened until you run them under water and start brushing, swap out toothbrushes.
- You’ve Been Sick – Even though allowing the brush to air dry will typically kill off any bacteria remaining on the brush, it may be worthwhile to change up the brush if you store it near others if you or your family members have been sick.
- You Can’t Remember The Last Change – If you can’t remember the last time you swapped out brushes, it’s a good indicator that you’re ready for a new brush.
How Long Should You Use One Toothbrush
The above tips can help you determine if you need a new toothbrush, but some people find it easier to replace their toothbrush every so often. A lot of patients swap out their brushes every six months after regular cleanings, but that may be too long with one brush.
According to the American Dental Association, the consensus is you should swap out your toothbrush every three months if you’ve been brushing two times a day. Bristles tend to wear down and lose effectiveness after close to 100 brushes, so you should be going through about four toothbrushes every year. This goes for both manual toothbrushes and electric options with removable heads.
So, although you can grab a toothbrush from the dentist every six months, you’re probably going to need to stock up on extras to fill the gap between appointments, or if you’re lucky, we may throw in a second brush after your visit with Dr. Brooks.
For more information about brushing and oral health, or to set up your next visit, reach out to our team today.