Most people wouldn’t think twice about replacing worn out clothing or shoes. But do you consider how often you should change your toothbrush? The answer depends on how often you use it, your health, and personal preference. Now may be the time to replace your toothbrush.
How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?
Dental professionals recommend that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. However, if you have suffered a recent illness, you should change your toothbrush sooner.
Also, if your brush was stored close to other toothbrushes while you were sick they all may need to be replaced. Otherwise, a good way to judge the condition of your toothbrush is to inspect the bristles. If they are damaged or frayed they are no longer in working order and will not clean your teeth efficiently. Since children tend to brush more aggressively than adults do, they may need more frequent replacements.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
When it is time to change your toothbrush, you may consider either a manual or electric style. Select whichever one is most comfortable for you to use. Manual toothbrushes are very portable and require no electricity. They are free of any noise and you have more control over the amount of pressure that is put on your teeth and gums.
You will need to keep an electric toothbrush charged and this type requires more travel space. However, the rotating bristles clean between teeth and below the gumline more efficiently. Most designs offer a built-in sensor that lets you know how long you have been brushing your teeth and how much pressure you are using. These are great perks because you will never have to think whether you are brushing long enough or if you are pressing too hard.
Taking Care of Your Toothbrush
Regardless of the type of toothbrush you choose, you should always keep it clean. Rinse the bristles thoroughly under a stream of tap water after every use to remove leftover toothpaste and lingering saliva. Store your toothbrush positioned vertically in a way that allows the bristles to air dry freely.
It is a bad habit to enclose wet bristles in a closed container, as this can lead to bacteria build up. Be sure to let your toothbrush dry thoroughly between uses. It is a good idea to pack a disposable toothbrush with your travel.
So, if you still aren’t sure of how often should you change your toothbrush, do so several times per year. It is best to always have a fresh supply available, at least one waiting for each person in the home.