Most Hendricks County residents know when they need to replace their clothes or shoes – when they become worn out or faded. But you may not know when you need to change your toothbrush. Here are some guidelines to help you the next time you’re wondering if it’s time for a new toothbrush.

Every Three to Four Months

The American Dental Association recommends that you change your toothbrush (or brush head, if you use an electric toothbrush) about every three to four months.

When the Bristles Are Frayed

While replacing your toothbrush every three to four months is a good guideline, you really need to look at your toothbrush. If the bristles are frayed, worn or spewing in different directions, it’s time to change your toothbrush – even if it’s been less than three months since your last replacement.
Once your toothbrush becomes frayed and worn, it loses its effectiveness. When this happens, it won’t clean your teeth as thoroughly. Studies have shown that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than one that’s worn out.
If you’re replacing your toothbrush more frequently and wondering why it’s wearing out faster, you may be brushing your teeth more rigorously. This is often the case with Hendricks County kids. So check the condition of your child’s toothbrush regularly since they tend to brush more vigorously.
Also, if your child wears braces, the bristles of their toothbrush may become worn more quickly. Therefore, you may need to change their toothbrush more often.

What About After an Illness?

While many people may tell you that you need to change your toothbrush after being sick, that’s just a myth, according to scientists. It’s true, germs can live on your toothbrush for a few hours to a few days. But over the course of your illness, you’ve built up antibodies to these germs. Therefore, brushing with the same toothbrush is not going to make you sick again. However, if you share your toothbrush with someone else, it can make them sick. But you really shouldn’t be sharing your toothbrush with other people anyway.

Remember to Have Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned

By replacing your toothbrush regularly, you can ensure you’re cleaning your teeth thoroughly at home. However, you still should have your teeth checked and professionally cleaned twice a year by a dentist, like Dr. Jon Erickson, to reduce your risk of dental problems and keep your smile looking great. Schedule your dental appointment by calling the Hendricks County office of Danville Family Dentistry at 317-745-4400.