Professional advice states that adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because they become worn out and are not as effective as they once were. Exceptions to this would be if you were using an electric toothbrush (a toothbrush that uses electric power to move the brush head, normally in an oscillating pattern, they are sometimes called ‘rotary’ toothbrushes) and the manufacturer states otherwise.
Some electric rechargeable toothbrushes have very good brush heads that only need to be changed every 6 months. If you have gum disease (this may refer to Gingivitis or Periodontitis), you should change your toothbrush every 4 – 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick.
For a healthy adult who has not been given any other advise by a dentist or other medical professional, the answer is every 4-6 months. More often that this would be bad too as new brushes are harder when you first use them and you would be causing wear and tear of the teeth if you were to use a new brush too often. If your brush is looking worn out so soon, maybe you are using it too often-twice a day is best morning and last thing at night, or you may be brushing too hard, or if you rinse it under really hot water this can also damage it. Rinsing it under warm water is sufficient enough. Always choose, unless again told different my medical professional , a medium bristle brush, as soft won’t do enough and hard will be damaging to the teeth and gums.
Reasons why you should replace your toothbrush frequently:
- Toothbrushes just simply wear out
- Toothbrushes are often worn enough to be replaced before they look worn
- Bristles breakdown and lose their effectiveness
- Worn and fractured bristles are a breeding ground for germs, fungus and bacteria
- Worn toothbrushes can damage gum tissue
Children require special attention and monitoring because:
- Bristle wear occurs quickly because children often brush with uneven strokes
- Children sometimes chew or bite on their toothbrush bristles
People who wear braces should change their toothbrushes frequently because braces break down and fracture bristles and the toothbrushes lose their effectiveness. A new toothbrush is 30% more effective at removing plaque.