How often should I change my toothbrush?

How often should I change my toothbrush?

People with braces, hard brushers and children will fray the bristles at a faster rate and will need to have their toothbrushes replaced sooner than softer less aggressive brushers.  It is recommended to replace toothbrushes, even if new, after a cold/flu, sore throat or even sores in the mouth in order to avoid any reoccurrence of infection.  The American Dental Associations recommends switching a new toothbrush every three months or sooner, depending on environmental factors.  The rigidity of the bristles may start to weaken after the first month of use, so for this reason, people prefer replacing them on a monthly basis.

Sometimes you don’t have to wait for the brushes to fray but if you accumulate a high bacteria count on your toothbrush, you will want to replace it earlier than the recommended time frame.  There are a lot of bacteria in your mouth, so it is expected to have bacteria accumulate on your toothbrush but several factors can lead to an increase of unwanted intruders on your brush.  This is not a problem unless there is an unbalance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria in your mouth and can be exaggerated with a weakened immune system.

Some helpful hints in keeping your toothbrush clean.

Don’t keep the toothbrush next to where you flush.  With every flush, bacteria can get into the air and can land on your toothbrush.

Keep your toothbrush on a holder upright instead of laying down. If you use a toothbrush holder, be sure to keep it clean and disinfect on a regular basis.  The National Sanitation Foundation found that toothbrush holders are the third dirtiest bacteria ‘hangouts” in your house.

Always rinse toothbrush after use and let it dry.

Don’t store toothbrushes next to other ones where they can come in contact and transfer germs.

Don’t swap toothbrushes with other people, you will share germs that way too.

Remember bacteria causes gum disease, decay, and bad breath, so be sure to keep those brushes nice and clean!