How Often Should You Clean & Replace Your Toothbrush?

How often clean and change toothbrushes

Ever see a kid brush his teeth immediately after eating chocolate? Each bristle seems to turn an icky shade of brown and you think, "Ugh. Maybe it's time to bust out a new brush." Well, those incidents aside, just how often should you be cleaning or replacing your toothbrush?

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Even though it goes in your mouth multiple times a day, you may not be switching out your brush as often as you should.

"People should change their toothbrush at least four times a year, and even more frequently if they see the bristles losing their shape," advises Timothy Chase, a dentist at SmilesNY

Little ones love to bite those bristles so if you seem them flattened out or listing to one side or the other, replace that brush. 

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We all know pediatricians suggest picking up a new toothbrush after a child has strep throat, but what about the common cold?

"I also recommend getting a new toothbrush if you have been sick," Chase says. "Children should follow the same pattern as well."

Have you ever walked into the bathroom and found two toothbrushes kissing, so to speak? Chase has a solution.

"If you’re a real germ freak, you can always clean your toothbrush in the dishwasher on the top shelf every week," he advises.

When you're shopping for new brushes, which are best? 

"Only use a soft or extra-soft toothbrush –- all others can cause tooth and gum damage," Chase says. "Brush two to three times a day at least half an hour after eating or drinking, and floss daily.”

 

Image via gpointstudio/shutterstock; wikicommons/Jonas Bergsten

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