As you probably know that toothbrushes don’t last forever. You might have wondered how often you should change your toothbrush. People also ask us how often they should replace their child’s toothbrush. Children and adults should replace their toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months on average. According to the manufacturers’ guidelines and dentists’ recommendations, people should swap their toothbrushes every 12-16 weeks. But some people need to replace it before this period.
Let’s find out how to know when to replace your toothbrush and what happens if you don’t change it when you should.
What happens when I don’t replace my toothbrush?
If you don’t change your toothbrush when you should, your dental health may get negatively affected. The bristles can become frayed and less effective in removing food debris and plaque around the teeth. This can lead to excess bacteria in the mouth, causing several oral health problems.
Why is a soft and straight bristled toothbrush necessary?
The toothbrush is a tool to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. A soft and straight bristled brush navigates the small spaces in your mouth. This way, it helps you eliminate food debris and plaque stuck around the teeth. On the other hand, you should avoid using a hard toothbrush. Since your mouth contains delicate soft tissues, a hard brush can cause damage to your gums and other soft tissues.
How often should you change your toothbrush?
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), you should change your toothbrush every 3-4 months or before it wears out. Your toothbrush will likely wear out within 3 months if you follow the standard recommendation: brushing teeth for 2 minutes twice a day. In addition, it is advisable to clean your mouth after a sugary snack to prevent cavities. If you follow an optimal oral hygiene routine, the bristles of your brush will eventually be worn out within 3 months. Therefore, this will be the right time to toss your old toothbrush and swap it with a new one.
If you want to ensure your child is brushing their teeth correctly, our pediatric dentist can help! Your child can get brushing tips from our pediatric dentists.
How to know when it’s time to replace your toothbrush?
Notice if your toothbrush has lost its freshness. If it does, you should replace it without any delay. You can mostly tell when it’s time to replace your toothbrush just by looking at it. Otherwise, look for the following signs of a worn-out toothbrush.
- Check the condition of the bristles.
- Check whether or not the bristles bounce back to their original position.
- Change your brush when bristles are no longer stiff and straight.
- Replace the toothbrush if it contains toothpaste residue at the bottom of the bristles.
If you notice any of these signs in your toothbrush, know that it’s time to swap it. This is because your toothbrush has likely lost its efficiency.
Tip: rinse your toothbrush properly after using it to get rid of trapped bacteria. Otherwise, this bacteria can make you sick.
Care for your toothbrush!
Your toothbrush is one of the tools to prevent oral health complications. Follow these tips to take care of your personal grooming tool:
- Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone
- Rinse your toothbrush with water after using it
- No need to sanitize the toothbrush
- Prevent the head of your brush touch other toothbrushes