Most of us know our toothbrushes aren’t meant to last forever. But it can be hard to figure out when our beloved bristles are nearing the end of their natural lifespan.
You might be surprised to find out that according to manufacturer guidelines and dentist recommendations, your toothbrush should be replaced every 12 to 16 weeks.
There are also cases when you might need to replace your toothbrush sooner. If you don’t replace a toothbrush or electronic toothbrush head when it needs to be, it can affect your dental health and spread infection.
Your toothbrush is your first line of defense against the bacteria that cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.
Straight bristles and a clean and easy-to-grip handle are best to navigate the smaller spaces in your mouth. A soft bristle brush will effectively remove old food and bacteria that can collect around the bases of your teeth.
If you follow the standard recommendation of brushing your teeth for 2 minutes twice per day, you’re already taking steps to protect your teeth from cavities.
Brushing your teeth between each meal and after a sugary snack is an extra step you can take to be proactive about preventing tooth decay.
Brushing two or more times per day is still considered standard for a manual toothbrush. At this rate of use, the bristles in your brush will start to fall out and become mangled or twisted within about 3 months.
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) also advise to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or whenever it appears to be getting worn out.
Once the bristles in your toothbrush start to lose their stiffness, the toothbrush is almost ready for the trash. Without bristles that brush aside food and plaque, your toothbrush quickly loses its efficiency.
*This is an abridged version of an article from HealthLine
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