Many people come to our Seattle dentist with questions about how frequently they should be replacing their brushes. This is a valid question, as your brush can often become a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, the bristles of your brush are getting warped and worn out, gradually losing their ability to effectively strip plaque from your teeth. Not being mindful of a proper replacement schedule eventually leaves you with a brush that does more harm than good.
The common wisdom is to get a new brush once every three months. However, this number can vary, depending on your circumstances. If you brush particularly hard, for example, you may see your bristles splaying every which way long before your three months are up. This is a clear sign that you’re due for a fresh brush. If you’re suffering from gum disease, you might want to change your brush every few weeks or so. This helps you to avoid cleaning with a bacteria-stained brush.
On top of this, you can keep your toothbrush cleaner for longer by following some simple sanitation practices. Remember that bacteria cannot thrive in dry environments, and so storing your brush upright to let it dry out between each time you brush your teeth is a good idea. For further peace of mind, consider periodically soaking the bristles in either hot water or an antibacterial mouthwash. Never microwave your brush or wash it in the dishwasher, as this can destroy the fragile material of the bristles.
If you have other questions about your brush, consult Dr. Jaime Lee at Smile Art.