The toothbrush is the most effective tool for every individual when it comes to maintaining proper oral health. Fortunately, it seems as though most people have gotten that memo and pretty much everybody has a toothbrush. What is unfortunate is the fact that many of those people are not changing their toothbrush out often enough, which can have negative consequences for oral health. So let’s answer this age old question once and for all: how often should you change your toothbrush?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you change your toothbrush at least once every three months. However, if your toothbrush looks or feels particularly dirty to you before those 90 days are up, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and replace it early. If you use an electric toothbrush, the entire brush does not need to be replaced, simply the bristle head. 

The issue with toothbrushes is twofold. First, the bristles breakdown over time. As a result, they are not able to remove plaque from teeth as effectively, which is the entire point of using a toothbrush in the first place. Excess plaque buildup on the teeth can lead to larger oral health issues like cavities and gingivitis. 

The second issue is that fungus and bacteria can hide in between the bristles of the brush. The moist nature of a toothbrush makes preventing these buildups virtually impossible. If left unattended this buildup can even grow to include visible mold—not something you want to put inside your mouth. 

The basic rule of thumb here is if your toothbrush looks or feels dirty, replace it. If you have had the same toothbrush for more than three months, replace it. If you replace your toothbrush when you should, you are ensuring that all the work you’re putting in brushing your teeth isn’t wasted. The best chance for good oral health is positive home dental habits. 

Of course, for any specific dental concerns it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional. Visit to learn more. 



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