Is it time to replace your toothbrush?

You’re in the store, staring at a row of toothbrushes and wondering if you need to buy one or not. It seems like you just bought a toothbrush, but you also can’t remember how long you’ve used your current toothbrush for.  

How do you know if it’s time to replace your toothbrush? Here are some factors to keep in mind if you’re unsure. 

When to replace your toothbrush  

For manual toothbrushes, the CDC recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. After this time, the toothbrush becomes less effective at clearing away bacteria and plaque from your teeth.  

If you have an electric toothbrush, that doesn’t mean you can stop replacing it! Actually, electric toothbrush heads need to be replaced more often than manual toothbrushes need to be replaced. This is due to the shorter bristles on the electric toothbrush heads. Every 3 months or earlier, the heads should be replaced with new ones.  

Signs you need to replace it earlier  

Your toothbrush may need to be replaced earlier if you recently recovered from an illness. Experts say using your same toothbrush after having a cold or the flu could lead to reinfection. The best way to ensure there’s no lingering bacteria on the bristles is to replace it. 

Another sign you should replace your toothbrush early is if it looks frayed or worn. Bristles that are worn will be less effective at clearing away bacteria and plaque from your teeth. Keep the appearance of your toothbrush in mind when wondering if you should pick up a new one from the store.  

Just as it’s important to replace your toothbrush often, it’s also important to visit the dentist often! Book an appointment with Jackson Dental by calling (573) 243-5200 or stopping by our office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, MO.