The Toothbrush Replacement Guide: How Long Is Too Long to Keep Your Toothbrush?

Thanks to Etsy, Amazon, and a hundred other retailers, getting customized merchandise is easier than ever—and that includes dental supplies like toothbrushes. Some of us might have received our first custom toothbrush before we even appreciated the dental benefits it could provide. As kids, we might have picked out a toothbrush in our favorite color or perhaps gotten one with a cartoon character stickered along the side in the hopes this would encourage us to use it. 

As adults, we can certainly appreciate the dental health benefits of the toothbrush as well as the aesthetics some of them provide. After all, a regular routine of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day will promote healthier gums and a brighter smile. Plus, a toothbrush that matches your home decor is always a pleasant find.

However, were you aware that replacing your toothbrush regularly was also important to your dental health? So next time you find that toothbrush that matches your sink and countertops perfectly, consider purchasing several of them so they can be replaced at the correct intervals to keep your smile properly protected.

Why Should I Replace My Toothbrush Regularly?

While many are in the habit of getting expensive toothbrushes that seem to “last longer” due to the quality of their bristles, this isn’t hygienic. Replacing your toothbrush based on the “wear and tear” of the product itself means you are getting diminishing returns while putting your dental hygiene at risk. 

The primary job of a toothbrush is to clean, especially in hard to reach areas and prevent bacteria buildup that can eventually become gum disease. In essence, it is a medical tool. Thinking about your toothbrush in those terms, it is easier to understand that by the time you can actually notice physical wear and tear on it, it has already been giving you subpar performances in cleaning your teeth.

When Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Keeping your healthy dental habits is a great goal that the majority of dental associated companies want to assist you in. If you have a name-brand, customized toothbrush (electric or otherwise), they may have a recommended replacement time you can look up, as well as an option where they can send you replacement brush-heads. 

If you can’t find such options for your electric brush, a general rule of thumb would be replacing your brushead every 12 weeks. They often fray quicker due to the vibration, so it is better to be safe than sorry and make sure to keep any potential oral-health related issues at bay. 

For traditional toothbrushes, both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend replacing your toothbrushes every 3–4 months. 

Naturally, there are other factors that may prompt you to replace your toothbrush before the scheduled replacement period. Examples can include:

  • Damaged Toothbrush: Especially the bristles or neck, which can either lower a toothbrush’s performance or allow germs to hide.
  • Illness: It is highly recommended to replace your toothbrush after being ill to reduce the risk of reinfecting yourself. 
  • Contaminated: If your toothbrush made contact with something hazardous (bathrooms can be filled with cleaning agents), just throw it away. 

Remember Routine Replacements and Routine Checkups to Keep Your Brightest Smile! 

With a dental routine that includes regularly brushing, flossing, and replacing your toothbrush, you will have a healthy and bright smile you can be proud to share with the world. 

But don’t forget that routine dental visits (one every six months) are an important part of this regimen as well; and they also allow a professional’s input to give you better peace of mind. So contact Drs. Hill and Schneidmiller today and schedule your next checkup!