Similar to changing the batteries on a smoke detector, many people often wonder how frequently they should replace their toothbrush with a new one. Statistics seem to bear out that most people don’t bother replacing their toothbrush until the bristles start to fall out, or they shop around for an electric toothbrush they think will last forever. When should you replace your toothbrush, and what sort of electric toothbrushes are on the market for your needs?
It is interesting to note that, according to research, Americans spend about $1.25 billion on toothbrushes and $1.8 billion on toothpaste every year. That seems like a lot of money, right? But compared to the three billion we spend on Halloween candy every year, it doesn’t seem like much.
Yes, we eat a lot of sugar here in the US!
So, How Often You Should Replace Your Toothbrush?
The CDC recommends you replace your toothbrush every three to four months to prevent bacteria build-up and ensure it works properly. But who remembers when they last changed their toothbrush? A good way to discover if your brush has passed its “expiration date” is to examine the bristles. If they’re relatively straight or just slightly bent, it’s still OK to use it. But if it looks like it someone scrubbed the bathroom tiles with it – toss it!
Here are some more recommendations:
- Never, ever, ever share your toothbrush with anyone else.
- Do not share a toothbrush holder with anyone. But if you must, do not let them touch.
- Do not soak your toothbrush in disinfecting solutions or mouthwash – it can actually spread germs under certain conditions.
- Do not put your toothbrush in the dishwasher or microwave – it can damage the bristles.
- Never cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container.
- Toss out your toothbrush after you’ve been sick – especially important during Covid.
About Electric Toothbrushes
As far as the electric toothbrush market goes, there are two big players: Sonicare and Oral-B. Both companies make excellent products.
For high-end performance, I personally like the Sonicare Diamond Clean. But, at a whopping $220, it’s cost prohibitive for many people. Oral-B makes a great product and has a wide range of choices to fit your budget.
Replacing Your Toothbrush – Be Mindful
Whether you use a traditional or electric toothbrush, be mindful of the wear-and-tear your toothbrush sustains and make sure you swap it out every 3 to 4 months. Many of my patients find that replacing their brush at the start of each new season is a good solution.
Meanwhile, follow the guidelines above to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and they’ll serve you well.
Dr. Michael Sinkin has been practicing dentistry in New York City for over two decades. He truly cares about the experience you have and takes great pride in making you relaxed and comfortable during every visit. Come in for an appointment and experience a different kind of dental practice. You may even receive a healthy dose of Dr. Sinkin’s famous comic relief! To make an appointment, call us at 212-685-3040.