How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Two wood toothbrushes inside a clear glass jar, with text - San Jose CAYour toothbrush is subject to wear and tear like most things in life and this will affect its effectiveness. You may not notice your toothbrush wearing out because the process is gradual.

That is why you should change your toothbrush regularly, at set intervals. By doing this you are going to see improvements in your oral health. So, let’s answer the question, “how often should I change my toothbrush?”

When To Change Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. This also applies to the brush on an electric toothbrush. Consider two reasons for doing so.

Worn out bristles

Each time you use your toothbrush the bristles will get softer and fray slightly. You will likely not notice this until you replace your toothbrush with a new one.  Frayed bristles are ineffective at removing plaque from your teeth.


The hygiene of your old toothbrush should also be taken into consideration. The bristles can be a breeding ground for bacteria. You can keep them at bay by thoroughly rinsing the brush under running water and drying it after use.  If you put your toothbrush in your bag, whilst traveling be sure to protect the brush head. It’s also a good idea to change your toothbrush after recovering from a respiratory illness to avoid reinfection.

Bottom Line: If you can’t remember how old your toothbrush is and you notice that the bristles have become frayed or they are darker in color (possibly due to mold) then you should change your toothbrush.

What Happens If I Don’t Change My Toothbrush Often Enough?

Let’s go back to the two reasons above as reasons why you should replace your toothbrush regularly.

A frayed toothbrush cannot remove plaque effectively. When plaque is not successfully removed it can cause gingivitis or develop into periodontitis which often leads to tooth loss. Exposing your mouth to high levels of bacteria is not good for your oral health.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

What Toothbrush Should I Get?

You should get a toothbrush that will suit your specific needs. Your dentist should be able to advise you on the best option for you. However, as a general rule, dentists favor softer bristles as harder ones can damage your teeth and gums. The brush head on the toothbrush should also be big enough to cover two teeth at a time.

An electric toothbrush is sometimes a preferred choice. They may help you better tackle the removal of stains, plaque and reducing gingivitis. 

If You Have Dental Problems

Sticking to a good dental hygiene routine will help you to avoid many problems such as tooth cavities or advanced periodontal disease. These issues can sometimes lead to tooth loss.

If you have already reached this stage and you would like to replace them then the surgeons at San Jose Oral Surgery can help with your dental surgery needs. Conveniently located in San Jose, they serve all of Santa Clara County and the surrounding area. They can provide dental implants. Book now online for your appointment.

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