If you landed here by googling "how often to replace toothbrush head," welcome. Hi, hello, nice to meet you. Can we just take a minute and commiserate? Holy mother of routine, how on earth can we be expected to keep up with absolutely every single thing we're supposed to do as responsible adults? Are we seriously all flossing every day? Does everyone else replace their toothbrush head every three months? Is everybody else totally on top of this stuff? Because yeah, you're totally supposed to replace your electric toothbrush head every two to four months (sooner if it's visibly frayed). And yeah, it's actually important. Here's why:
Replace Your Toothbrush Head Already!
Your toothbrush head is supposed to be clearing bacteria out of your mouth. So that's a pretty dirty job. You don't want it to go to the other side and start actually introducing new bacteria into your mouth. And hey, that's not so hard to accomplish in a bathroom. They're often damp, warm rooms without fantastic ventilation — perfect for bacteria growth. Plus, toothbrushes are damp — another tally in the "could be gross" column. Not to mention: toilets are flushing nearby.
As toothbrush head bristles get worn down, they stop cleaning teeth as well. That means a fresh toothbrush head will clean your teeth much more effectively. You don't want to waste the 4 minutes a day you're devoting to brushing your teeth: that would be kind of a bummer. And you definitely want clean teeth to avoid plaque deposits that can encourage gum disease or tooth decay.
With these three key points in mind, obviously you'll want to keep an eye on the state of your toothbrush head. If the bristles are looking frayed, get that thing out of there. But you can also reduce mental load by keeping in the habit of changing it out at least every three months, regardless. Set a calendar event on your phone or make a note in your planner so that you don't have to rely on remembering to do a toothbrush check — you don't even have to think about it. You could also set an auto-order with your favorite online retailer: That toothbrush head will show up without you doing anything at all.
You can avoid glancing down at your toothbrush and suddenly realizing that it's grimy, ineffective, and potentially gum-damaging by making changing it out automatic. When it's routine to change it, you can rid your brain of the burden of having to remember it. Before you know it, it will fall into a manageable process, making it easy to keep up with. Whew! Maybe we're going to make it after all.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.