How To Tell It Is Time For A New Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is a very important part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Used properly it can reduce the amount of plaque, and therefore tartar, in your mouth. This reduces the likelihood of cavities and gum disease. Considering oral and overall health appears to be linked it is even more important to take good care of your teeth, which includes knowing when it is time to replace your toothbrush.

When Your Dentist Recommends You To

If you are not sure about your toothbrush then you can ask for your dentist’s opinion. Regardless of whether you visit a ‘regular’ dentist or a holistic dentist, such as you’ll find they offer great advice regarding when to change your brush. This is especially true if you take your toothbrush in with you.

However, in general, toothbrushes should be changed every 3-6 months, you may not want to wait for your next dental visit. 

Bent Bristles

Over time your bristles will start to fray, bend, and perhaps even fall out. The speed at which this happens does depend slightly on the amount of pressure you use when brushing your teeth. If you think you are brushing too hard then try holding the brush with just your forefinger and thumb. This will prevent you from putting excess pressure on the brush and wearing it out prematurely. 

As soon as the bristles start to bend or fray you need to replace your brush.


Brushes naturally trap bacteria and debris. Even though you should wash it out and this should clean it, when you have been sick you don’t want to risk re-infecting yourself. It is better to get rid of the brush and use a new one. This will help to prevent the bacteria from breeding and making you ill again. 


Your toothbrush should sit in a rack where it can receive fresh air. This and the coolness of the room help to stop bacteria from building up. However, if you have been storing your toothbrush in a sealed case, such as a travel case, then you have created a humid environment where bacteria can breed between brushes. 

This increases the chances of you contracting an infection and becoming seriously ill. 

You’ve Dropped It

Once you have dropped your toothbrush you cannot be sure what is on it. There is no way of knowing how clean the floor is and whether you have picked up some nasty bacteria during the process. Continuing to use the toothbrush increases the risk of negative bacteria in your mouth and the subsequent health problems that this can incur. 

It’s Touched Someone Else’s

You have a tolerance to the bacteria in your mouth but you are unlikely to have the same tolerance to other people. This means if your toothbrush touches someone else’s you should throw it away to avoid risking infection from a friend or colleague.

With a little care, your toothbrush can last 3-6 months. But, as soon as it doesn’t seem to be as effective at its job, replace it.