How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush Head?

Let's be real, your toothbrush has probably seen better days. You've been using the same brush head for over 6 months, yet you wonder why you feel like your teeth don't feel as clean as they once did. But how often should you replace your brush head?

Why Should You Change Your Brush Head?

Studies have shown that using a worn toothbrush/brush head removes less plaque compared to a new toothbrush/brush head. The worn toothbrushes in the study were used for 3 months. The Oral Health Foundation also recommends replacing your toothbrush every 2-3 months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.

Since the job of a toothbrush is to remove bacteria from your mouth, some bacteria will be transferred to the toothbrush. Additionally, warm, damp areas like your bathroom are ideal environments for bacteria growth. Therefore, millions of germs could live on the bristles of your toothbrush, if not replaced often.

When Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

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Dentists recommend replacing brush heads every 2-3 months, though this varies. You should replace your brush sooner if it is visibly frayed as The Oral Health Foundation claims that worn bristles are less effective.

Some of the factors that can affect the longevity of brush heads are:

  • Brushing technique - brushing with too much pressure can result in the brush head becoming frayed quickly. Read our blog on brushing properly for more information.
  • Brush head - some brush heads, particularly aftermarket brush heads, tend to fray quicker than others.

Similar to brush heads, manual toothbrushes should be replaced approximately every 2-3 months.

If you're interested about the longevity of your electric toothbrush, take a look at our blog on how long do electric toothbrushes last.

How Do You Make Your Brush Head Last Longer Before Replacing?

There are many factors that can affect how quickly your toothbrush head becomes frayed. Keeping your brush head in its best condition is essential if you want to maximise longevity. Here are a couple factors that could effect the durability of your toothbrush head:

  • Brushing too hard - Sometimes, doing too much can actually have a negative effect. When brushing, you should exert between 100-200 grams. For reference, this is around the same weight as an orange (150 grams).
  • Brushing too long - Brushing for longer than the recommended 2 minutes could actually wear out your brush head prematurely. It's best to stick to the recommended 2 minutes to keep both your teeth and brush in optimal condition.

If, after 2-3 months, the bristles on your brush head aren't frayed, you should still replace it. The brush head may look new but significant bacteria growth can occur beyond the 2-3 month mark.

How Do You Replace Your Electric Toothbrush Head?

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For most electric toothbrushes, replacing the brush head is a very simple process. Simply:

  1. Remove the worn brush head by pulling the brush upwards.
  2. Clean the toothbrush handle if there is any residue.
  3. Push the new brush head into the toothbrush, making sure it is the correct orientation.

The process may vary depending on which electric toothbrush you have.


It's recommended to change your brush head every 2-3 months. However, this is not always the case. If you can see that the bristles are frayed, it's time for a replacement. Subscription services are available to make things easier too.

If you're still unsure whether or not to invest in an electric toothbrush, have a read through our blog on the benefits of using an electric toothbrush!