worn toothbrush

How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.

We easily find out the right time to replace our clothes, shoes, and other daily-life accessories. When it comes to a toothbrush, people make a common mistake by using the same toothbrush for over a year. If you are a dental professional like me, admit it, you just cringed at the mere thought of that.

But it happens more often than we would like to think. Because we (hopefully) use our toothbrush so much, it becomes a little difficult to determine when is the right time to replace it. So just how often should you replace your toothbrush? Or in the case of an electric toothbrush, how often should you replace your electric toothbrush head?

When to Get a New Toothbrush?

Dentist recommend replacing a toothbrush every 3 months in normal circumstances. A good tip to remember to change your toothbrush is to set an alarm in your phone to the first of every month.

If you want one less thing to remember, I personally recommend using an easy subscription toothbrush replacement service.

My personal favorite subscription toothbrush is the BURST sonic toothbrush. BURST sends you a replacement toothbrush head automatically to your door for only $6 with free shipping. You can choose the standard 3 month or change it to suit your needs. My whole family gets their replacement heads at the same time. I never have to try and remember at the store who has which kind of brush and when their toothbrush head was replaced.

Did I mention this is the most amazing toothbrush and it even has charcoal bristles to help safely and naturally whiten teeth? It’s only $39.99 and has a lifetime warranty too! Can’t beat it! Feel free to save some money with my BURST promo code FFERVX to save $30. You can check out a full detailed BURST toothbrush review HERE.

Okay back to the post…

If you have been sick or developed strep throat, you should replace your toothbrush even sooner. Sick germs can live on toothbrushes. If you develop strep throat, replace the toothbrush after the first day on the antibiotic, then again on day 3 and again after completion of antibiotics. This will hopefully ensure you do not get strep again from your toothbrush.

If you have an electric toothbrush, you should replace your toothbrush head every 3 months as well. You should change it sooner if you notice the bristles are splayed or not looking like they originally did. This can cause your to not be removing plaque efficiently.

Overall, whether you have an electric or manual toothbrush, never forget to replace it every three months under normal conditions. 

5 Signs Your Toothbrush Needs Replacement

For a better assessment, here are 5 signs to replace your toothbrush for better oral health:

  • Frayed Bristles

Are the bristles of your toothbrush straight and hard? If they seem frayed, bent over, crooked, or damaged, or show considerate wear & tear, now is the right time to change replace your toothbrush. Frayed bristles not only damaged your gums but they are also unable to clean the teeth to the best potential.

  • Debris Under Bristles

You probably (again… hopefully) brush your teeth twice a day – or at least once daily. This means a normal toothbrush is washed each day. But if there are still some debris at the bottom of bristles and they can’t be removed by washing, your toothbrush is aged and needs a replacement. 

  • Health Conditions

Even if it was less than a month ago when you bought a new toothbrush, if you’ve been sick, consider replacing it again. 

This is because toothbrush may have caught infection when you were sick and re-infect you each time you brush your teeth. 

  • Contact with Another Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are personal and they shouldn’t touch each other. But if you have children, sometimes you can’t help but find your toothbrush head directly in contact with another one. If so, it’s the right time for a toothbrush replacement. Different people have different transmittable germs in their mouth which can also transfer toothbrush to toothbrush.

  • Adequate Storage

After brushing your teeth, a toothbrush needs to breathe and get dry for bacteria & germs to die. If you’ve been placing your toothbrush in a drawer or container, it’s time for a replacement. And from now on, make sure to store them in open. 

Final Verdict

Overall, brushing your teeth regularly is one of the key steps to oral health. Make sure to change your toothbrush every 3 months or less in case you notice any of the above-mentioned signs. 

Kelly Hancock, RDH

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