How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Two wood toothbrushes inside a clear glass jar, with text - Novato, CALike most things, wear and tear will affect the effectiveness of your toothbrush. The process is gradual and you may not be able to notice how much your toothbrush is wearing out. That is why you should change your toothbrush regularly. Doing so will contribute to an improvement in oral health. So, let’s answer the question, “how often should I change my toothbrush?”

When To Change Your Toothbrush

It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) that you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. The same applies to the brush on an electric toothbrush. Consider two reasons for doing so.

Worn out bristles

The bristles will wear out a little, each time you use your toothbrush. This process may go unnoticed until you replace your toothbrush with a new one.  Bristles that have become frayed cannot effectively remove plaque from your teeth.


You should also consider the hygiene of your old toothbrush. The bristles can harbor a lot of bacteria over time. You can keep the bacteria at bay by placing the brush under running water and drying it after use.  Also when traveling you should protect the head from bacteria in your bag. It would also be advisable to change your toothbrush after a respiratory illness. This will limit any chance of reinfection.

If you can’t remember how old your toothbrush and you notice that the bristles have become frayed or are darker in color (possibly due to mold) then you should change your toothbrush.

What Happens If I Don’t Change My Toothbrush Often Enough?

Consider two reasons to replace your toothbrush based on the information above.

An old toothbrush cannot remove plaque effectively. A plaque build up can cause gingivitis to develop or periodontitis which often leads to tooth loss if left untreated.

A build up bacteria on your toothbrush is not good for your oral health. You surely don’t want to be exposing your mouth to this source of bacteria twice a day.

What Toothbrush Should I Get?

Your dentist is in the best position to help you find a toothbrush for your specific needs. Dentists usually suggest toothbrushes with softer bristles over harder ones as harder ones can damage your teeth and gums. It’s often recommended to use a toothbrush with a head big enough to cover two teeth at one time.

You may prefer to use an electric toothbrush. Some feel that they are more effective in removing stains, plaque, and reducing gingivitis. 

If You Have Dental Problems

Good dental hygiene practices will help you to avoid many problems. Ignoring your dental health can often lead to tooth cavities or advanced periodontal disease. This could then lead to tooth loss.

If this has already happened to you and you would like to replace them then the surgeons at Novato Oral Surgery can help with your dental surgery needs. Conveniently located in Novato, California, they serve patients in northern Marin County and the surrounding area. Their services include full mouth extractions and dental implants. Book now online for your appointment.

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