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How Often Should You Really Change Your Toothbrush, According to a Dentist

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If you practice good oral hygiene, you’re probably brushing twice a day for two minutes, using a toothpaste like Aquafresh Extreme Clean Pure Breathe Action, and flossing daily. But how often are you changing your toothbrush, you know, that instrument you’re using to clean plaque off your teeth and gums day in and day out?

“As you use your toothbrush as recommended, brushing at least two times per day for two minutes per session, the soft bristles begin to fray and accumulate potentially harmful bacteria,” explains Dr. Nehi Ogbevoen, DDS, MS, orthodontists at Beverly Hills Orthodontics in Los Angeles, CA. “Bacteria from your mouth and bathroom can accumulate on your toothbrush over time. It is beneficial to rinse your toothbrush with water after each use to minimize the amount residue and bacteria accumulation.”

Chances are pretty good that you know and do change out your toothbrush, but are you doing it frequently enough? How often should you be changing your toothbrush?

“The average person should be swapping out for a new toothbrush every three to four months,” explains Dr. Sienna Palmer, DDS, dentist at Meridien Dental in Santa Monica, CA. “This is recommended to ensure that the bristles are still effective and bacteria accumulation on the toothbrush is minimal.”

Travel frequently for work and have a separate toothbrush that comes with you? Because you’re not using it as frequently, you don’t have to change it out quite as often — but you do still need to! “If you’re not using a toothbrush daily, for example just on work trips, we recommend switching it out every six months,” explains Dr. Ogbevoen.