How Often Should I Change Out My Toothbrush?

toothbrushes on blue background

Most people know that toothbrushes don’t last forever, but it can be hard to tell when it’s time for a replacement. However, knowing when to change it out is critical as an old toothbrush can do more harm than good for your mouth. Read on to learn how often you should be swapping out your beloved bristles and what can happen if you don’t replace them as recommended.

How Often Do I Need to Replace My Toothbrush?

According to manufacturer guidelines and dentist recommendations, you should be replacing your toothbrush every 12 to 16 weeks. But ideally, you should toss out your toothbrush as soon as the bristles fall out, appear splayed, or become worn out. If you’re brushing for two minutes twice per day, it should take about three to four months for your bristles to reach that point. Another good rule to follow is to change out your toothbrush after you or a household member has been ill to prevent getting sick again.

What Happens If I Don’t Replace It Regularly?

Every time you use your toothbrush, the bristles are exposed to water and chemicals from your toothpaste, making them weaker with each use. A 2013 study showed that after 40 days of consistent use, splayed bristles make brushing less effective. Participants who didn’t change out their toothbrushes on the 40th day of use experienced significantly more plaque buildup.

Regularly replacing your toothbrush is crucial to get the most out of your brushing sessions. Straight soft bristles work best to eliminate bacteria from your mouth that cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Otherwise, failing to swap it out as recommended can increase your risk of these oral health problems.

Tips for Maintaining Your Toothbrush

Do you know how to properly care for your toothbrush? Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Never share your toothbrush with anyone else, even if they’re a family member
  • Try not to let other people’s toothbrushes touch yours if they’re stored together
  • Rinse your toothbrush with warm water after brushing
  • Don’t put your toothbrush in a closed container as it can encourage mold growth or spread bacteria

Do you remember the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Make sure to change it out as recommended – a good toothbrush is the best way to maintain a healthy smile!

About the Practice

At Shwarts Family Dentistry, we provide high-quality dental care beyond what’s anywhere else. As soon as you walk through our door, we’ll help you feel welcomed, valued, and comfortable. If you have any questions about maintaining your toothbrush, visit our website or call (972) 437-6035 to speak to an expert.