The Truth about When You Should Replace Your Toothbrush
…Or Your Electric Toothbrush Head
Do you want to have the healthiest teeth possible? There’s one way you can help ensure that just by spending a few extra dollars a year. Simply replace your toothbrush when needed. But how do you know when it’s time for a new toothbrush?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every six months. Many dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. So, who’s correct? And does it really matter? Let’s look at some reasoning behind the two recommendations.
Why a Newer Toothbrush Is Important
Just like anything else in life, an older toothbrush will lose its effectiveness over time. The bristles and brush head can build up bacteria and fungal growth, which is not healthy for your mouth. Have you ever seen a toothbrush looking brownish or yellowish at the base of the bristles? Time to throw that one away… or reuse it for small scrubbing jobs around the house.
In addition to discoloration on your toothbrush, frayed bristles are another sign of an older toothbrush or brush head. Frayed bristles are far less effective in attacking the plaque that builds up on your teeth. A less effective brush means more plaque buildup, tooth decay, and a higher risk of cavities for you. It’s not good for your mouth, gums, teeth, and overall oral health. So, toss that frayed brush for a new one!
A frayed or discolored toothbrush can cause several health issues.
- Bacteria buildup in the mouth
- Less effective brushing
- Plaque buildup
- Tooth decay and cavities
- Oral infection
- Gum trauma and disease
- And more
Clinical research shows that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than a worn brush. In addition, we highly recommend replacing your toothbrush after you’ve been sick—even after a simple cold or a respiratory infection.
3 Reasons to Replace Your Toothbrush Right Away
- Frayed bristles
- Discoloration anywhere on your brush
- When you’ve been sick
Bottom Line – Six months is probably too long to wait to replace your toothbrush or brush head. At Peace Haven Family Dentistry, we recommend replacing your toothbrush every six to eight weeks to ensure the best cleaning possible every time your brush your teeth.
When your bristles start looking slightly frayed or you notice any discoloration in your bristles or on the brush head, make it a priority to replace your toothbrush. If you wait longer than six to eight weeks to replace your toothbrush, you may be putting your health at risk. (Remember that gum disease can lead to other health issues in the body. It’s not confined to just the mouth.) And if you exert more pressure when brushing, you may want to consider replacing your toothbrush more often.
Best Practice – Always keep one or more backup toothbrushes or brush heads on hand. That way, you can make an instant swap whenever you need.
Now You Know the Truth about When You Should Replace Your Toothbrush
We can’t wait to see you!