New year, new toothbrush?

Your toothbrush is the best tool you have to keep your smile looking good and feeling good in the new year.  How do you know when it is time to change your toothbrush?  Young children are notorious for chewing and biting on their toothbrushes.  Should their brushes be changed more often?

The American Dental Association recommends that brushes should be changed when the bristles are visibly frayed or approximately every three to four months.  If your child is a toothbrush chewer, you might find that you need to replace their brush as frequently as once per month.  Don’t worry if you have to change brushes frequently now.  As your child grows older, the need for new brushes will decrease.

Here are some general recommendations for taking care of your toothbrush from the ADA:

  • Do not share toothbrushes.  Germs can be easily spread on toothbrushes.
  • Thoroughly rinse toothbrushes with tap water after brushing to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris.  Debris left behind can reintroduced to your mouth the next time you brush.  Yuck!
  • Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers.  Enclosed containers create an environment where bacteria flourish.
  • Replace toothbrushes at least every 3–4 months.  More frequent changes are often needed for children.

Read more about toothbrushes and research on whether they harbor microorganisms that can cause oral or systemic infections in the ADA Statement on Toothbrush Care.


About the Author:

Since 1972, Salem Pediatric Dental & Orthodontic Associates has provided comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence including those with special health care needs. We proudly serve the communities of Salem, Lynn, Peabody, Danvers, Marblehead, Swampscott, Beverly, and many more.
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