toothbrushes-225x300Brushing your teeth on a regular and consistent basis is one of the most important things that you can do for your oral health. Flossing and rinsing with mouthwash should always accompany brushing your teeth.

One of the most common questions (or most commonly overlooked) that people have with regard to their toothbrush is how often it should be replaced.

Let Your Toothbrush Air Out

Once you are finished brushing your teeth, it’s important to allow it the opportunity to air out. This means that you should rinse it out vigorously under tap water when you’re done and then store it in an upright position to air out.

Because toothbrushes are breeding grounds for bacteria, if you brush your teeth with a damp brush, you’re reintroducing that bacteria to your mouth all over again. Over time, you will begin to notice the bristles beginning to wear out.

Any time that you notice bristles wearing out, replace your toothbrush. You may assume that since they aren’t falling out, that they can still do a decent job of cleaning your teeth, but you’d be wrong. Once the bristles lose their strength and ability to remain upright, they are no longer working their way in between your teeth and around your gums properly.

Any time you’ve had a cold, the flu, or even a sore throat or infection in your mouth, you should replace your toothbrush. Germs can hide within the bristles and some colds and even the flu virus are more durable than general bacteria.

Every three months. All other things being normal and fine, you should replace your toothbrush every three months. Research studies have shown that toothbrushes lose their effectiveness once they have been used for 3 months or longer. If you have specific questions about what type of toothbrush would be best for your teeth, speak to your dentist.