Tips on Taking Care of Your Toothbrush


How old is your toothbrush? According to the American Dental Association, we should replace our toothbrushes every three to four months. Replacing them ensures that we have a clean brush with strong bristles that will optimally clean our teeth to create healthy smiles for life!


It’s important to periodically take a look at your toothbrush bristles. If they are frayed or discolored, you should replace your toothbrush. Frayed bristles will not efficiently clean your teeth – all that hard work without the results needed to keep your teeth healthy! It may also work less effectively at cleaning your gums or getting in between your teeth where plaque is likely to be hiding. In general, using an outdated toothbrush means that your teeth aren’t being adequately cleaned. In fact, old toothbrushes are less effective overall at removing plaque.

Even if you don’t notice obvious wear and tear, you should still replace your old toothbrush routinely. Because they are used for cleaning, and water can be the optimal breeding ground for germs, toothbrushes often have fungus and bacteria, which after a while can build up to significant levels.

It is also important to change your toothbrush after an illness, such as a cold, the flu, a mouth infection or a sore throat. Even if you rinse your brush, germs can hide in the bristles and cause you to get sick again.


You can ensure that your toothbrush will last by brushing gently, and rinsing your toothbrush after every use. After use, you should shake it vigorously and rinse under tap water to keep your brush lasting longer. Store it in an upright position so that it can air out quickly. Also void storing your toothbrush in a closed container where bacteria are more apt to grow.


If you want to “be green,” you can actually recycle your old toothbrush with TerraCycle® and Colgate®. This program is a great way to recycle and support fundraising opportunities for program participants. Check out their program.

Remember to change your toothbrush every three to four months to better maintain your oral health. If you have any questions about your toothbrush or are concerned about which types to use, just ask us at your next checkup. Don’t forget to schedule your regular cleaning to help you keep healthy smiles for life!