When it comes to matters of the mouth, hygiene is of the utmost importance, yet most everyone struggles to maintain dentist-approved levels of cleanliness and care. Flossing is easy to skip, and that whole two-minute rule for brushing doesn't always fit into a rushed morning. Aside from flossing and brushing technique, New York City dentist Keith Arbeitman, DDS, says that many people aren't changing their brushes enough, Business Insider reports. So how often should you swap your brush for a new one? According to the American Dental Association, toothbrushes should be replaced after three months of use.
"It really depends how often you use your toothbrush," Arbeitman says. He suggests judging the brush on how it looks rather than how long you've had it, but the general three-month guideline is usually accurate for those who brush twice a day. One giveaway that it's time to buy a new toothbrush is if the bristles start to bend. You can also run your tongue across your teeth after you brush to see if you're left with that clean slippery feeling. If not, you'll want to buy a new brush.
Aside from ensuring a proper clean, changing your toothbrush is important for your overall health, as old brushes can host germs and bacteria. Arbeitman says the best way to keep a toothbrush clean is to stand it upright and make sure it dries between uses. This kills any bacteria that might be lurking. Follow these dentist-approved tips for your healthiest year yet.