t's easy to know when to replace worn out shoes or faded clothes. But how often should you change your toothbrush? It all depends on your usage, health and preferences. Before you brush again, ask yourself whether it is time for a new toothbrush.
When to Get a New Toothbrush
Replace toothbrushes every three to four months. Consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes. When in doubt, look at the bristles. If they are frayed, they won't clean teeth as thoroughly. Because children often brush more rigorously than adults, they may need their toothbrushes replaced more often.
Types of Toothbrushes
There are three types of toothbrushes to consider: manual, electric and battery powered. Choose what feels more comfortable and makes you want to brush your teeth regularly.
A manual toothbrush is portable and ready to use every time you need it. It is quiet, and offers you complete control over the pressure it puts on your teeth and gums. An electric toothbrush requires charging and is a bit more cumbersome to take along when travelling. It can provide more features to clean teeth more thoroughly.
Electric toothbrushes differ among the kind of cleaning technology they use, such as oscillating-rotating (3D Cleaning Action) or sonic technology. The rotating movement of the bristles makes it easier to clean between teeth and at the gum line. Many electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors to make sure you brush long enough and don't press too hard.
A battery powered toothbrush may provide the best of both worlds as it has extra power and doesn't need to be plugged in. While similar in features to regular manual toothbrushes, these kinds of toothbrushes vibrate and pulsate to provide additional cleaning action.
Maintaining Your Toothbrush
No matter which type of toothbrush you use, keep it clean. Make sure to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use to wash away toothpaste or debris. Then, store the toothbrush in a vertical position, with the bristles positioned so they can air dry. Storing a toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, so it's best to let the bristles of the toothbrush fully dry between each usage. If you're travelling, consider using disposable toothbrushes during the trip.
How often should you change your toothbrush? Get into the habit of buying new toothbrushes for everyone in the family several times a year. How often you change your toothbrush depends on several factors, but it's best to always have a new, fresh toothbrush waiting in the bathroom cabinet for each family member.