When Is It Time To Get A New Toothbrush?

Your toothbrush is the backbone of your oral hygiene routine, and it's important to keep it in good shape so it can remove food particles and plaque buildup effectively. 

It's Been More Than a Few Months Since You Got a New Toothbrush

If you can't remember the last time you replaced your toothbrush, it's definitely time to buy a new one. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush after a maximum of three to four months of use. New brushes with fresh bristles remove plaque better than worn ones.

The Bristles Look Worn

The bristles on your toothbrush should be straight, densely packed, and smooth on the ends. Bristles that are worn or frayed make it hard to brush the full surface of your teeth, which can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay.

If your bristles are looking less than new, it's probably time for a new toothbrush.

You've Been Sick

Swap your toothbrush out for a new one anytime you've been ill. Your toothbrush can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, such as the flu and common cold viruses, when you're sick.

Failing to use a new toothbrush after illness increases your risk of reinfection.

You Notice Buildup on Your Brush

Germs, bacteria, and dead skin cells can all build up on your toothbrush over time, to the point where they aren't completely rinsed away every time you rinse after brushing.

Take a look at the base of the bristles on your toothbrush. If you notice any discoloration or buildup underneath the bristles or on the bottom surface of the toothbrush head among the bristles, it's definitely time to switch to a fresh brush. 

Your Toothbrush Has Been Stored Improperly or Contaminated

Keeping your toothbrush clean and free of germs is extremely important. It's best to store your toothbrush in a well-ventilated area since bacteria grow best in warm, moist places. If you keep your toothbrush tucked into a medicine cabinet or unventilated case you'll need a new one more often.

If someone else has used your toothbrush or if it's touched someone else's toothbrush, toss your brush and grab a new one. 

In addition to brushing and flossing at least twice a day, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist twice a year for a thorough oral examination and professional cleaning. 

If you don't remember to replace your toothbrush at other times throughout the year, you can use your dental visits every six months to remind you to get a fresh toothbrush to maintain your freshly cleaned teeth. Most dentists give patients a new manual toothbrush at every visit.

For more information, contact a dentist.