Like holding onto smelly running trainers and underwear that’s way past its best, we’re probably all guilty of using the same toothbrush for a bit too long. So how often should you replace your toothbrush – and what are the telltale signs you need to giving ageing bristles the boot?

But when you think about how easily toothpaste residue can build up, the idea of putting the same piece of plastic or bamboo into your mouth over a full year becomes a pretty stomach-turning thought.

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So how often should you replace your toothbrush? We asked orthodontist Dr Chaw-Su Kyi to explain.

Josh Brolin Toothpaste GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

How often should you replace your toothbrush?

“Ideally every three months, or sooner if the bristles are fraying considerably. As a general hygiene rule, look at changing your toothbrush around four times a year.”

Replace your old toothbrush every three months (iStock/PA)

How to keep your toothbrush germ free

“Germs and micro-organisms can harbour on your toothbrush if it’s not cleaned, but there’s no clear cut evidence that it will make you unwell.

“However, I think it’s all part of having a clean hygiene routine. You wouldn’t consider wearing the same dirty clothes every day for a year, so there’s no reason to not rinse your brush with water after using it, or to forget replacing it every three months.”

How to clean a toothbrush

Wash your toothbrush under running water to help keep it clean
Always give your brush a quick rinse after use (iStock/PA)

“As a rule of thumb, you should always clean your toothbrush after using it. This is as easy as running the brush under water to remove any residual toothpaste or any particles of food that may be left on the bristles.

“The best thing is to simply rinse it straight away with running water, after using it. However, you can also give it a deeper clean every few weeks by swirling the toothbrush head in a cup of mouthwash, for around 30 seconds.

“I advise leaving the brush standing to air dry naturally afterwards – don’t cover your wet brush with a holder as this is how germs can potentially harbour.

“For a DIY cleaner, you could also try using denture tablets dropped in water. They are traditionally used to disinfect dentures that have a plastic component and can be safely used on toothbrushes. Make sure you’re always following the instructions though.”

Best-selling electric toothbrushes

Stuck for inspiration and fancy a change of brush? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon electric toothbrushes to replace your old manual toothbrush!

SaleBestseller No. 1
Oral-B Pro 2 2500W 3D White Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush, Pink Handle, 2 Modes, Gum Pressure...
  • Oral-B 3D Technology movement: Round toothbrush head oscillates, rotates and pulsates to break up 100 Percent more plaque vs manual toothbrush
  • Protect your sensitive gums: Visible gum pressure sensor reduces brushing speed & alerts if you brush too hard
  • From day 1: Gently whitens your teeth from 1st use by removing surface stains & plaque
SaleBestseller No. 2
Oral-B Pro 2 2500 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush Rechargeable Powered by Braun, 1 Handle, 2 Modes...
  • Oral-B 3D technology movement: Round toothbrush head oscillates, rotates and pulsates to break up 100 Percent more plaque vs manual toothbrush. (Item package may vary)
  • Protect your sensitive gums: Visible gum pressure sensor reduces brushing speed and alerts if you brush too hard
  • From day 1: Gently whitens your teeth from 1st use by removing surface stains and plaque
SaleBestseller No. 3
Oral-B Smart 6 6000N CrossAction Electric Toothbrush, 1 Black App Connected Handle, 5 Modes,...
  • Cleaning and Healthier Gums with Real Time Brushing Feedback to assist you while brushing
  • For a clean that wow – remove bacteria by removing up to 100 Percent more plaque vs a manual toothbrush
  • Elegant premium handle design with gum pressure control to automatically slow brush speed and visibly alert you if you brush too hard
SaleBestseller No. 4
Oral-B Vitality Plus CrossAction Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush, 1 Blue Handle, 2 Brush Heads, UK...
  • The essential toothbrush to achieve an everyday clean
  • Removes more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush
  • 2D cleaning action, oscillates and rotates to remove plaque better than a regular manual toothbrush
SaleBestseller No. 5
Oral-B Pro 600 3D White Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun, 1 Handle, 1 Toothbrush...
  • Specialized cup polishes and whitens teeth starting from day 1 by removing surface stains
  • Removes more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush
  • Dentist-inspired round brush head oscillates, rotates and pulsates to break up and remove plaque

Last update on 2021-05-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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