Are you one of the millions of Americans that only changes their toothbrush when your dentist gives you a free one at each check-up? If so, you could be denying your teeth the cleaning they so desperately deserve for working tirelessly for you everyday. Toothbrushes were meant to be replaced more often than once every six months.
How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. You may want to replace your brush more often if you notice that the bristles are fraying. Not only are frayed bristles unable to clean between your teeth, they can also cause damage to your gums. Besides that, there are a couple more scenarios where you would want to replace your toothbrush more often that every 3-4 months.
Replace Your Toothbrush If Someone Else Has Used It
You might also want to consider changing your toothbrush before 3-4 months have passed if someone else has used it. Scientific studies have shown that bacteria can live on our toothbrushes. When you put your brush back in your mouth, you’re just exposing your mouth to bacteria that it put on your brush, which doesn’t do any harm.
However, if someone else has used your toothbrush, they have contaminated it with all of the bacteria in their mouth. If you then use that toothbrush, you will expose yourself to any disease or sickness that they may have.
Replace Your Toothbrush When It Tells You To
Most modern toothbrushes and brush-heads for power toothbrushes have colored indicators that let you know when you should change your brush. Often the bristles start to stress and develop micro-cracks before we can even see them. The manufacturer of the brush knows when the brush will start to fail and not provide an optimal brushing experience for you.
You should be replacing your toothbrush at least once every 3 to 4 months. You may want to do it more often than that if:
- The bristles are visibly frayed.
- Someone else has used your brush.
- If the indicator says to replace it.
If you want to experience the maximum benefit of brushing, you need to brush with a brush that is in good condition.