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How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

August 16, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — greenmountaindentistry @ 4:22 pm
young woman smiling and holding toothbrush

Everyone knows that toothbrushes don’t last forever, but how do you know when it’s time for a new one? Replacing it regularly is crucial to keep your oral health in optimal condition. Although it can be hard to tell when it’s time for a change, there are certain guidelines and signs to look out for that can alert you. Read on as your dentist in South Burlington explains how often you should swap out your toothbrush and what happens if you don’t replace it within the recommended time frame.

How Often Should You Change Out Your Toothbrush?

Knowing when to replace your toothbrush will help you get the most out of your brushing sessions. Here’s how often you should be changing it out:

  • Every three to four months. According to manufacturer guidelines and dentist recommendations, that is how often you should get a new toothbrush. If you’re brushing at least twice a day (like you’re supposed to), then it will take about three to four months for your bristles to become worn out.   
  • When it gets old and frayed. Regardless of how long you’ve had it, you should replace your toothbrush as soon as the bristles fall out, appear splayed, or become worn out.
  • After an illness. Toss out your toothbrush after you’ve been sick to prevent reinfection. If you have any type of virus, such as a cold sore, get a new toothbrush right away. It’s the best way to stay healthy!

What Happens If You Don’t Replace It Regularly?

Have you ever wondered what happens if you continue to use your toothbrush even after the recommended timeframe? Over time, the bristles will start to warp into a new shape and become frayed, losing their cleaning capability. Studies show that since old toothbrushes cannot remove plaque as effectively, using one can increase your chances of developing tooth decay, cavities, or even gum disease. That’s because straight soft bristles work best to eliminate harmful bacteria.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Toothbrush

In between replacements, here are some tips to help keep your toothbrush in its best shape:

  • Do not share your toothbrush with anyone else, even family members.
  • Try not to let other people’s toothbrushes touch yours if they’re stored together. It’s best to keep them a few inches apart to avoid cross-contamination!
  • After brushing your teeth, run hot water over the bristles on your toothbrush to disinfect it. Make sure the water is hot enough to produce steam.
  • Do not store your toothbrush in a closed container as it can encourage mold growth or spread bacteria. Let it dry completely before storing it in a confined space.

Shopping for a toothbrush isn’t as fun as shopping for clothes, but it’s extremely important for your oral health. Changing out your beloved bristles as recommended will help you maintain a healthy smile for life!

About the Practice

Our team at Green Mountain Dental goes above and beyond to provide world-class dental care that’s unlike anywhere else. With regular checkups and cleanings, we can help your smile remain problem-free for as long as possible. Plus, we’ll allow you to ask any questions you might have about your at-home dental care routine. If you have additional questions about your toothbrush, visit our website or call (802) 863-3950 to speak to a dental professional.    

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