How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

Submited by Sonoma Smiles on December 4, 2017

Just like replacing a worn pair of shoes or clothes that have faded, it’s important to replace a toothbrush or electric toothbrush head that is past its prime. Failing to do so could put your oral health at risk. Read on as Dr. Wayne Sutton of Sonoma Smiles explains how often you should replace your toothbrush or brush head.

Plan to Replace Every Three to Four Months

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush or brush head approximately every three to four months, at which point the bristles are likely frayed or worn, and will no longer do a great job cleaning your teeth.

If you notice the bristles of your toothbrush or brush head are worn or frayed sooner than the three or four-month mark, replace the brush or brush head at that time. Keep a few fresh toothbrushes or brush heads on hand so you don’t have to make an extra trip to the store when you need a replacement.

What If I’m Sick?

Clinical studies show that microorganisms that are present in the environment in which the toothbrush is kept (i.e., the bathroom counter or medicine cabinet) can grow on the toothbrush itself. However, there’s not sufficient evidence that the bacteria of the microorganisms can cause adverse effects on oral or overall health.

Nevertheless, use common sense if you are at a higher risk of infection or re-infection. If you or a family member has a systemic disease that can be transmitted by blood or saliva, or a compromised immune system, you might want to consider replacing your toothbrush or brush head when you recover. It simply makes sense to be a little more diligent when your risk of a bacterial or viral disease is higher.

Caring for and Storing Your Toothbrush

After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with tap water to remove leftover toothpaste or other debris. Store it upright and let it airdry. Do not cover the brush or keep it in a closed container. If you store your brush with a family member’s brush, keep them separated. Do not share toothbrushes.

Contact Sonoma Smiles

For more tips on keeping your mouth clean and healthy, please contact Sonoma Smiles. Give us a call at (707) 585-2555 or send us an email today.