Ask a Dentist

September 8, 2023

Q: Why Do I Need To Change My Toothbrush So Often?

Seven different toothbrushes shown on a blue background

Maintaining good oral hygiene is not just about brushing regularly; it's also about using the right tools. Your toothbrush is the most important tool you have in your day-to-day oral hygiene routine. Brushing regularly—and properly—fights against oral issues like cavities and gum disease. But to do this effectively you should be replacing your toothbrush (or toothbrush head if you’re using an electric toothbrush) regularly.

What do we mean by regularly? Every three months or when your toothbrush is starting to show wear, whichever comes first.

But why do you need to do this?

Three reasons why you should replace your tooth brush regularly

1. Get optimal brushing performance - A toothbrush is effective when its bristles are firm and flexible. Over time, bristles can become frayed and worn, leading to less effective cleaning. A new toothbrush ensures that you're getting the best brushing performance, allowing you to remove plaque and food particles more efficiently when brushing.

2. Prevent bacteria build-up - As you use your toothbrush, it accumulates not only leftover toothpaste and food particles, but also bacteria from your mouth. After three months of use, the bacterial load on your toothbrush can increase significantly. This can compromise your oral hygiene efforts and even reintroduce harmful bacteria into your mouth. A new toothbrush helps maintain a higher level of cleanliness and reduces the risk of potential infections.

3.  Be nice to your gums and teeth - Old and worn-out bristles can be harsh on your gums and teeth. Brushing with damaged bristles can cause gum irritation and enamel erosion. By switching to a new toothbrush every three months, you're safeguarding the health of your gums and protecting your tooth enamel, ensuring your oral care routine remains gentle and effective.

Three ways to keep track of when to replace your toothbrush

1.     Put a reminder in your calendar or phone

2.     Replace it as the seasons change

3.     Use your favourite holidays to treat yourself to a new toothbrush

Bonus Tips!

Keep your toothbrush separate from other toothbrushes. If you’re one of the many people who puts your toothbrush in a cup with your partner’s and other family members', it might be time to get one of the toothbrush holders that keeps them all separated. It’s easy for bacteria and particles to transfer from one toothbrush to another if they touch. It’s easier to keep your toothbrush clean and hygienic if they remain a bit separated.

Replace your toothbrush after you get sick. We all get ill, but we still need to brush our teeth. In fact, the simple act of brushing your teeth when you’re feeling under the weather is a quick way to give yourself a little boost. But once you’re feeling better, throw out that toothbrush and get a new one. The bacteria or virus from when you were sick has been transferred onto your toothbrush, making it easier for others to get sick from it, or yourself again. It’s better for your health to get a new brush.

Think about getting a new, different toothbrush. Curaprox toothbrushes are made with polyester bristles instead of nylon. These bristles don’t hold water or bacteria, so they stay fresh and clean longer, requiring less frequent disposal if rinsed properly after each use. They can last up to 12 months before needing to be replaced. Plus, the polyester bristles are very gentle on the gums. You can get these toothbrushes at our Garden City clinic!

Don't underestimate the power of a new toothbrush in maintaining your oral health. By replacing your toothbrush every three months, you're ensuring optimal cleaning performance, preventing bacteria build-up, and safeguarding your gums and teeth from harm. Remember, a small investment in a new toothbrush can lead to significant benefits for your smile and overall well-being.

You’ll also get a new toothbrush at your next checkup and cleaning, so don’t forget to book your next dental appointment! We have two convenient locations in Winnipeg, one in St. Vital Centre and the other in Garden City Shopping Centre.

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Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!

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