How Often Should You Really Change Your Toothbrush?

Why should I change my toothbrush?

Ideally you should be using your toothbrush twice a day, brushing for 2 minutes each time.  This means that over a period of a month your toothbrush is being used continuously for over 2 hours.  That’s a lot of wear on your toothbrush.  So how often should you change your toothbrush?

Dentists recommend that you change your toothbrush every 3 months or when your toothbrush starts to show signs of wear, which ever is first.  Research shows that after 3 months of use your toothbrush is less effective at removing plaque.  Not brushing your teeth correctly can also effect the wear of your toothbrush, as well as leaving you teeth more open to decay.  It is surprising how many people are not brushing their teeth correctly.

Signs that your toothbrush may need changing is splayed bristles.  This is also an indication that you may be applying too much pressure when brushing your teeth.  When the bristles start to splay they do not remove the plaque efficiently so change your toothbrush to ensure your mouth and teeth stay decay free.

You should never share your toothbrush.  Apart from being unhygienic, it is possible to transmit diseases via blood such as Hepatitis C.  Also it is advisable to change your brush is you have been ill or sick as the bacteria can develop in the bristles.

What is the correct way to brush your teeth?

Using a small headed brush that has soft bristles, tilt the brush to an angle of 45° against the gumline.  Gently sweep the brush downwards (away from the gum).  Work your way along the outside of the teeth and then the inside, not forgetting the biting surfaces.  Don’t forget to brush your tongue as bacteria collects here too.

A small headed brush is advised as its easier to reach difficult areas including the back teeth.

For those who find it hard to hold or use a manual brush, an electric brush is a great alternative.  This brush practically does all the work for you.  Some even have a timer to ensure that you brush your teeth for the recommended time.  Just like a manual brush, the brush head on an electric toothbrush needs changing every 3 months.

Once you have brushed your teeth thoroughly rinse the brush under tap water.  Shake off any excess water and store upright.  Wet toothbrushes are a great breeding ground for bacteria and germs, so storing upright will give the brush an opportunity to dry out.


For more information regarding oral hygiene speak to your Dentist or Hygienist.  Alternatively Blue Sky Dental can help.  Visit or call 01245 211070.



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