How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

Have you changed your toothbrush in the last six months? Last year? Last decade? If you answered “no” to any of those timeframes, it’s time to get a new toothbrush. This guide explains how often you should replace your toothbrush, and features to look for in a new toothbrush.

Replace Your Toothbrush Every Quarter

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush once every 3-4 months. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your toothbrush, you’re probably due for a new one. The ADA also suggests to replace your toothbrush when it is noticeably frayed. This may be the result from brushing too hard. Use gentle circular motions to clean your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Refer to our brushing and flossing guide for more information: How to Brush and Floss Like a Pro.

Why You Should Replace Your Toothbrush Every 3-4 Months

There are a few reasons why you should replace your toothbrush every quarter. It takes about three months of daily brushing for the bristles to wear down and lose their effectiveness. If your toothbrush can’t do its job, you could be at risk of gingivitis, tooth decay, and other oral health concerns.

Toothbrushes are also prone to bacteria growth, especially if they are not cleaned properly. Replacing them every 3-4 months reduces this issue.

Other Times to Replace Your Toothbrush

In addition to quarterly toothbrush replacement, you should replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Even a well-cleaned toothbrush can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which means brushing your teeth could persistently reinfect your body. Get a new toothbrush to reduce your sickness time.

You should also replace your toothbrush if it has not been stored properly or if it interacts with someone else’s toothbrush. Check out these 5 Signs You Need to Replace Your Toothbrush to learn more.

How to Choose the Right Replacement Toothbrush

Ready for a toothbrush upgrade? Here are some tips to choose the right toothbrush and maintain your toothbrush moving forward.

  • Select a toothbrush suited to the age of the user. Kids have different toothbrush needs than adults, so it’s important to choose something age-appropriate. Learn more in our Kid Toothbrush Selection Guide.
  • Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits comfortably in your hand. If you had issues with your previous toothbrush, choose a new one that better accommodates your needs.
  • Replace the head of your electric toothbrush, just like you would replace a standard toothbrush. Most replacement heads are inexpensive and easy to install.
  • Clean your toothbrush thoroughly to extend its life. Here is a simple guide for How to Clean Your Toothbrush.
  • Store your toothbrush in open air to minimize bacteria growth. This blog post from Clinton Dental Center explains Where to Store a Toothbrush
  • Don’t throw away your old toothbrush! Check out these Creative Uses for Old Toothbrushes to give your old brush a second life.

The oral care experts here at Clinton Dental Center would love to help you preserve your healthy smile. We offer teeth cleanings, oral exams, family dentistry, pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and much more. Please call (586) 949-5363 to schedule an appointment at our Metro Detroit dentist office.