Replace Your Toothbrush Often For Better Dental Health

How often should you replace your toothbrush? We often try to answer this question. Up to 100 million bacteria could be living in your toothbrush. While most of these bacteria are harmless, some can cause minor problems, such as skin infections and diarrhea, researchers have found.

Other bacteria found on toothbrushes are not as harmless. These include Mutans streptococcus, which is one of the main causes of dental cavities; Beta-hemolytic streptococcus, the bacteria type that causes strep throat; Candida albicans, a fungus responsible for thrush in babies; Coliform bacteria, a bacteria commonly found in bathrooms; and Herpes simplex, a virus that causes cold sores.

Replacing your toothbrush frequently and keeping it clean and dry can help avoid bacteria contamination and ensuing health problems. These steps are especially important if you have recently been ill or have a weakened immune system or diabetes.

How often should you change toothbrushes? If you are generally healthy and the toothbrush bristles are not worn or damaged, every two to three months is the recommended interval. If you have any chronic health problems or have recently been sick, change toothbrushes more frequently.



Sick persons should change their toothbrushes right away to avoid reinfection or passing the illness on to someone else in the family.

If you use an electric toothbrush, clean the head daily and change the brush heads at the manufacturer’s recommendation. If you have any type of gum disease, replace your toothbrush every four to six weeks, since bacteria can remain harbored in the toothbrush bristles.

If your immune system is compromised or you are undergoing chemotherapy, your doctor may recommend that you change toothbrushes as often as every three days.

Keep your toothbrush and its surroundings as clean as possible. This not only prolongs the effectiveness of the brush, it also promotes better overall and oral health.

Some Simple “Do’s” For Your Brushing Routine Are:    

  • Rinse the brush under running water after each use to remove food particles.
  • Clean toothpaste debris from the handle and other plastic parts after use.
  • Remove excess water and dry the brush by shaking it.
  • Place the brush upright so air can circulate around the bristles.
  • Clean the toothbrush holder frequently.

Store your toothbrush as far away as possible from the toilet. Always close the toilet lid before flushing, since bacteria from the commode can be forced into the air.

Check the brush frequently for damaged bristles or signs of wear, and replace your toothbrush if necessary.

Some “Don’ts” For Good Toothbrush Care Include:   

  • Don’t store your toothbrush in a container with a cover. The cover holds moisture, which encourages bacteria growth.
  • Don’t share your toothbrush with others. Provide new toothbrushes, unopened and in their original packaging, for guests to use.
  • Don’t allow children to share toothbrushes. Label children’s toothbrushes with their names.
  • Don’t store several toothbrushes in the same holder. Make sure none of the toothbrushes is touching another brush.
  • Don’t try to sanitize your toothbrush in the microwave or dishwasher, since these methods will damage the bristles.
  • Don’t waste money on toothbrush sanitizers, such as sprays, rinses or ultraviolet lights, since there’s no real evidence they prevent illnesses.

Routinely inspect your toothbrush for wear, replace it at regular intervals and keep it clean and dry between brushings. These steps will ensure your toothbrush effectively removes bacteria and plaque from your teeth and mouth and contributes to your overall health.

Your Opinion Please!! 

So how often do you change your toothbrushes? Do you wait till all the bristles are splayed out? If you have other tips to share on how to care for your toothbrush, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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