How often you should change your toothbrush & the risk of not doing it, dentist reveals

IF you don’t change your toothbrush often enough, you’re putting yourself at greater risk of tooth decay and gum problems.

That’s before you even consider the fact that you may as well be brushing your mouth out with toilet water – more on that later.


My mouth dentist reveals the rules for replacing your toohbrushCredit: My Mouth

Fabulous spoke to Dr Viren Vithlani, specialist periodontist and co-founder of MyMouth who revealed the basic rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush every three months.

He says: “The main reason for that is that you tend to find the bristles of the brush flare over time and then they become less effective, so you’re not removing plaque and bacteria as effectively.

“That means you’re leaving potentially more bacteria on the teeth which is increasing your risk of gum problems or decay.

“The second reason is from a hygiene perspective.

“Most people will leave brushes out and not covered so you tend to get bacteria colonising on the brush bristles themselves.”

Recent stomach-churning images revealed how one flush of the toilet produces thousands of tiny germ-carrying droplets that contaminate surfaces up to six feet away.

Even if you’re closing the lid before flushing, don’t count on the fact that everyone in your household will – research revealed that 55 per cent of UK adults don’t.

Dr Vithlani also advises that some people should consider switching things up more than four times a year.

He says: “If people are brushing too hard or too often, they might need to change them every couple of months.

“It’s useful for people to bring in their brushes when they come and see their dentist or hygienist so that they can actually physically see the condition of the brush and how flared it is.”

If you’re heavy-handed and therefore use a soft-bristled brush to help prevent gum recession, Dr Vithlani also warns that these will tend to get worn out more quickly than their medium-bristled counterparts.

But since bristles bend gradually over time, you may be wondering at what point you can tell that your toothbrush is past its prime.

Dr Vithlani says that when you’re brushing your teeth, with the brush angled about 45 degrees toward the gums, you should be able to feel – or see in the mirror – that the bristles are tucking into the gumline.

“If your bristles are not quite sitting on the tooth and they’re not getting into the gum line, that’s when you know that probably they’ve flared too much,” he says.

It’s slightly better news if you use an electric toothbrush.

As most of them have a pressure sensor, people tend not to put excessive pressure onto the teeth which means the brush head doesn’t require changing as frequently.

“We might say to a patient every four months, potentially four to five months, depending on how flared those bristles are,” says Dr Vithlani.

“There’s no hard and set rule for everybody because everybody’s different, so you’ve got to really look at what the condition of the brush is.”

Also, see how one dentist warns against viral trend of emptying toothpaste into a clear container for aesthetic purposes.

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How clean is your toothbrush? A dentist reveals how often to change it.


How clean is your toothbrush? A dentist reveals how often to change it.Credit: My Mouth
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