What if you don’t replace your toothbrush?


Written by Dr. Shardul Taware

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Dec 5, 2023

Written by Dr. Shardul Taware

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Dec 5, 2023

Many people wonder, so what if you don’t replace your toothbrush? Some may have never experienced any dental problems and didn’t care to replace them that often. But what’s in store if you’re one of them?

When it comes to cleaning and hygiene we follow some rules; dust two times a week, replace your bed sheets once a fortnight and throw out old makeup. We do care about the cleanliness around us, then why not care about oral cleanliness and hygiene too?

What in the case of your own toothbrush?

Ideally it is advised to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months according to ADA (American Dental Association) irrespective of whether you use manual or electric toothbrush. If you are using an electric toothbrush you don’t have to keep replacing or buying new ones. Electric toothbrushes come with replaceable brush heads which are easy to change and more convenient.

Its not just about keeping them clean


Firstly cleaning your toothbrush can be tedious and time consuming but also important. Not many people know how to keep their toothbrushes clean. Toothbrush bristles get frayed over a period of time, whether you use a hard, medium or a soft bristed toothbrush.

When you use a frayed toothbrush its cleaning efficiency gets compromised.  Since the frayed bristles become angulated in a different direction, it now becomes difficult to clean and remove the plaque from each tooth surface and the left over food stuck between your teeth. Naturally the residual plaque causes irritation and inflammation of gums (gingivitis). Untreated gingivitis(gum diseases) progresses to periodontal disease(severe gum diseases) and sequentially tooth loss.

Research says new brush cleans teeth 95% better than the old one

Germs Living on toothbrushes

If you continue using your old toothbrush for long time and store in a closed container or a toothbrush case , you are creating breeding ground for bacteria on your brush which may create mouth infections. We lack proper sterilizing methods at home which can get rid of these germs. Also, make sure that every family member stores their toothbrush separately to avoid bacterial transfer from their toothbrushes. We must continue to priorities hygiene and take the appropriate safeguards in the post-pandemic environment. This entails upholding dental hygiene standards and practicing excellent oral hygiene.

Lastly, changing your toothbrush after being sick or it could lead to reinfection. It’s better to take precautions if you have a weak immune system or a compromised medical condition. According to Edita Outericka , DMD, at Dynamic Dental in Mansfield, MA :” Although bacteria and viruses can live up to 3 days on the toothbrush, your body should have built up the antibodies to fend them off and avoid a relapse” 

Remember, your toothbrush will perform its job flawlessly only when it is in its best  form.


  • Older and uncleaned toothbrushes loose their cleaning efficiency over a period of time.
  • Toothbrushes get frayed over a period of time and continuing using the same can hamper your cleaning efficiency.
  • You are 3 times more prone to falling sick if you do not replace your toothbrush.
  • You might be susceptible to more fungal and bacterial infections in the mouth.
  • Toothbrushes start smelling over a period of time if you don’t clean them properly. This can also be one of the causes of bad breath.
  • Remember to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months and after recovering from any sickness.
Was this article helpful?

scanO (formerly DentalDost)

Stay Informed, Smile On!

Author Bio: Dr. Shardul Taware is a practicing dental surgeon with 2 years of clinical experience. Being artistic and creative, he delivers astounding treatment and shows comforting side of dentistry to his patients. He is specifically interested in prosthetic dentistry. Apart from professional work, he believes in spending quality time with his family and friends and is also a zealous football player.

You May Also Like…

A Simplе Guidе to Tooth Rеshaping

A Simplе Guidе to Tooth Rеshaping

What if we say thеrе's a way to еnhancе your smilе without having to wear braces! Tooth reshaping might bе thе answеr...


  1. Dr. Ishan Singh

    I visited a dentist in greater noida few days back, he also told me the importance of replacing the tooth brush. However above is a detailed aspect.

  2. Fioritto Family Dental

    It is so easy to replace a toothbrush! In fact, I personally keep several new ones stored and change them out often plus keep three different bushes ready to use each day. Staying well and keeping teeth in excellent shape is so doable!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *