A common question in the dental office by patients is, “How often should I change my toothbrush?”. This is a very good question, as some patients do not realize it is more frequently than originally thought.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is recommended that you change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head, every three months. The reason for this is that the bristles get worn down and are not as effective as new. A frayed toothbrush may not remove as much plaque (soft yellowish-white build up on teeth), which can put you at risk of gingivitis.
Another reason to change your brush frequently is bacteria. Germs and fungus can also grow on the toothbrush. Even if you have not been sick, it is best to be safe and change it. One of the best ways to avoid bacteria transfer after each brushing and before tossing it is to let it air dry after each time you brush.
To help you understand the difference between a new toothbrush and a worn, frayed toothbrush, see the picture below. Use it as a guide and keep in mind that you do not want to let your toothbrush become overly frayed, as the one shown in the photo on the right:
If you ever have any questions about your toothbrush or any other oral health issues, make sure to ask at your next appointment.