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When Do I Replace My Toothbrush?

Now that we all are firmly committed to a new year dedicated to health, it seems appropriate to review the basics in oral care. And the question about how often to replace our toothbrush is definitely a #1 query among our patients.

The answer: Replace your toothbrush every three months or after you've been sick.

Here are other important tips:

  • Floss daily
  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day (Fluoride can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40 percent.)
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year for routine hygiene check-ups and cleanings.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reach every surface of each tooth.
  • If bristles on your toothbrush are bent or frayed, buy a new one.
  • Brush properly - To clean the outside surfaces of your teeth, position the brush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion using short, gentle strokes. To clean the inside surfaces of the upper-and-lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle strokes over each tooth and its surrounding gum tissue.
  • Spend at least three minutes brushing.
  • Floss properly - Gently insert floss between teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or snap it into place. Curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and then the other.