How Do You Know When To Replace Your Toothbrush?

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Mar 22, 2017 | Last Updated: Dec 23, 2018

Replace Your Toothbrush

In order to take care of your teeth properly, you need to pay attention to your toothbrush too because it is your tool for improving the dental hygiene. Naturally, the toothbrush has to be changed from time to time and in this article we will discuss when it is time to change your toothbrush and why.

Why I have to Replace my Toothbrush?

According to researches, your toothbrush is a nest for more than 10 million germs and bacteria. It is a breeding ground for various microorganisms. However, before you ditch toothbrushes, you should know that these tiny microorganisms aren’t damaging to your health, as long as you give your toothbrush some time to dry after each usage.

Also, after a certain period of time, bristles become fuzzy and they are unable to clean your teeth properly. That is why you should replace your toothbrush with the new one in order to maintain the dental hygiene.

Researchers have confirmed that new toothbrush can remove more plaque that worn out toothbrush and that is always a good reason for replacement.

How am i Supposed to Know When to Replace my Toothbrush?

On Average, people use the same toothbrush up to nine months, which is wrong. Signs which tell you it’s time to replace your toothbrush are obvious. Next time you go to bathroom to brush your teeth, take your toothbrush and ask yourself these questions:

Replace My Toothbrush
  • Are the bristles straight?
  • Are the bristles crooked or bent over?
  • Is there any debris at the bottom of bristles?

If the bristles on your toothbrush are not straight anymore, and if you notice debris at the very bottom of the toothbrush, it is definitely time to get a new one.

How often should i Purchase a New Toothbrush?

According to the American Dental Association you should purchase a new toothbrush, or replace a toothbrush head in case you have electronic type, about every three months. At that point, the bristles become too soft and are unable to do their job adequately.

However, the frequency of purchasing new toothbrush depends more on the person who uses it, than on toothbrush itself. If you have a heavy hand, your brushing technique is stronger and the bristles will wear out sooner. Nowadays, there are some toothbrushes whose bristles change colors when it’s time to purchase a new one.
It is also advised to change the toothbrush after the flu.

To Disinfect The Toothbrush or not to Disinfect It?

Some people heat their toothbrush hoping it will eliminate all germs. However, that isn’t completely true. Boiling water, microwave and dishwasher can destroy the bristles. According to experts, the most important thing of maintaining toothbrush is to carefully rinse it off after every usage. After you rinsed the toothbrush, you should let it air dry and it will be clean. It is important now to put a cap over it which usually maintains a moist environment that is suitable for growth of bacteria.


Also, do not waste your money on products that promise disinfection of toothbrush and elimination of bacteria and other microorganisms. According to the American Dental Association, there is no toothbrush-cleaning product which is able to fully sterilize the toothbrush.

How to Choose the Best Toothbrush?

When you are about to purchase a new toothbrush, you should consider:

  • Size – The best toothbrush is the one whose head will allow an easy access to all surfaces in your mouth. You should be able to reach everywhere without difficulties. For most adults the most adequate toothbrush is the one whose head is half-inch wide and one-inch tall.
  • Bristle variety – Toothbrushes usually have soft, medium, or hard bristles. For most people, soft bristles are the best choice because hard bristles can damage the gums and tooth enamel.
  • Recommendation – Quality toothbrush is always recommended by an expert, organization etc., also you can find label on these toothbrushes which tell you what quality controls they have been through and how safe they are.

Dos and Don’ts for Toothbrushes

DO purchase toothbrush with soft bristles. As explained above, these toothbrushes will remove the plaque without damaging tooth enamel and gums. According to dental associations, you should use toothbrushes with soft and slightly rounded bristles.

DON’T brush too hard. Even if you have toothbrush with soft bristles, you should still brush your teeth gently. Brushing too hard can damage your teeth and gums. According to WebMD, a survey of 700 dentists revealed that brushing teeth too hard is the most frequent cause of sensitive teeth.

DON’T go by the one size fits all rule. If you have children, they should use toothbrushes that were designed for them. Also, you should only purchase toothbrushes that will reach all places inside your mouth easily. Pay attention to toothbrush’s head prior the purchase.

DO purchase the toothbrush with the practical handle that will fit comfortable in your hand.

DON’T share the same toothbrush with other members of the household.


The quality of toothbrush is important for dental hygiene. It is recommended to purchase new toothbrush or replace the head of electronic one every three months.

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