Do you know when to change your toothbrush? An old toothbrush is less effective at removing plaque and calculus from your teeth than a new toothbrush.
This is why the general rule supported by most dentists and toothbrush manufacturers is to change your toothbrush every 3 months. Studies show that over time the bristles wear out and break down making it much harder to properly clean in between teeth, gums, and deep grooves.
Many people believe that it is also important to change your toothbrush after being sick with the flu, a cold, strep throat, or other illness. You don’t want to risk the chance of re-infecting yourself with the germs that could be lurking on your toothbrush.
If your toothbrush still doesn’t look very worn after 3-4 months of regular usage, perhaps you are not brushing long enough each day. Set a timer to make sure you are brushing for at least 2 minutes, twice a day and be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste.
Also, check out our post on Good Oral Hygiene Tips for Children.
Signs that it’s Time to Change Your Toothbrush
As a quick recap, you should change your toothbrush if:
- It has been more than 3 months since you last replaced your toothbrush
- The bristles are worn, flat, or splayed looking
- The line or colored indicator is faded away (this is a helpful feature on some brands of toothbrushes)
- You have recently been sick
Other Handy Toothbrush Tips
Keep your toothbrush in fine working condition by following these simple guidelines for cleaning and storing your toothbrush:
- Shake toothbrush vigorously under tap water after each use.
- Make sure your toothbrush dries properly between uses.
- Store in an upright position so that it can air out.
- Keep your toothbrush from touching other toothbrushes in your household, to prevent the spread of germs.
- Use a small protective case to keep your toothbrush from getting squished or flattened in your suitcase when travelling.
- Set a reminder on your phone for when it is time to change your toothbrush so you don’t forget.
We also have a post on Brushing Teeth Dos & Don’ts.
If your tooth brush is too hard it can also cause bleeding gums indicating you should change to a toothbrush with softer bristles.
Can’t remember the last time you had to change your toothbrush? Are you overdue for a dental cleaning?
Contact our dentist office in Cambridge Ontario at 1-519-620-7474 to make an appointment with Country Dental. Chances are it’s time you see the dentist again, plus we will give you a brand new toothbrush at your visit!
If you live in the Greater Toronto area, we also have 2 other dental clinics serving southern Ontario including:
This Canadian Dental Association page offers additional information on Flossing and Brushing.