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The Toothbrush Dilemma

The toothbrush dilemma – it’s a problem that has vexed mankind for generations. How often do you replace your toothbrush, and what kind of toothbrush should you buy? With the explosion of new products on the market, it’s hard to make an informed decision. 

You want a toothbrush that’s effective, but at the same time, you don’t want to break the bank. Fortunately, there are some simple guidelines to follow that can help you make the right decision. 

From manual to electric toothbrushes and everything in between, this guide will help you find the perfect toothbrush for you.

Types of Toothbrushes

The most common toothbrush types are manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes, and water flossers, although you may also come across specialty toothbrushes such as tongue scrapers, or toothbrush sanitizers. 

  • Manual toothbrushes are the most common type of toothbrush you’ll find in drug stores and supermarkets. They are inexpensive and easy to use, and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes to accommodate all different people. 
  • Electric toothbrushes are the more advanced type of toothbrush. They don’t just brush your teeth — they also clean your gums and give you a massage. They can be very effective in reducing plaque, but they are also more expensive than manual toothbrushes. 
  • Water flossers are another type of dental cleaning device that doesn’t require the use of toothpaste. They shoot out a stream of water through a specialized tip to remove plaque and food from between the teeth and below the gum line.

Cost of Toothbrushes

The price of a toothbrush will vary greatly depending on the type of toothbrush you buy. Manual toothbrushes are the most inexpensive, while electric toothbrushes will cost more. 

Water flossers tend to cost between $30 and $100. If you’re looking for an inexpensive toothbrush, a manual toothbrush will do the job just fine. 

Electric toothbrushes are more expensive, but they can be worth the extra cost if you really want a thorough clean. If you want to save money, but you still want to brush your teeth, a manual toothbrush will do the job.

Replacement Frequency

About every 3–4 months or when bristles lose their shape or color, you’ll want to replace your toothbrush. The reason for this is that the bristles are not effective in the removal of plaque after a few uses. 

You’ll want to replace your toothbrush more often if you have a disease such as diabetes, because the disease process can cause plaque to build up more quickly. Additionally, if you have a toothbrush with more than one person using it, you’ll want to replace it more often. 

People who have gum disease should replace their toothbrush more often because bacteria can accumulate on the toothbrush and be transferred to the gums. 

If you have braces, you should replace your toothbrush more often because the bristles are being worn down much faster. People who are pregnant also need to replace their toothbrushes more often.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Toothbrush

  • Bristle material: Remember to check the label on your toothbrush to see what the bristles are made of. Ideally, you want them to be made out of something like nylon or polyester, as these are superior to other materials like boar bristles.
  • Handle: The handle will either be made out of rubber or plastic. While both materials are safe for brushing your teeth, the rubber handle is easier to grip and may be better for those with arthritis or other hand injuries.
  • Replacement frequency: How often do you replace your toothbrush? This is a personal choice, but as a general rule, you should replace your toothbrush once every three months. 
  • Bristle size: The size of your bristles is important, as they should be small enough to reach between your teeth.

Toothbrush Care

  • Store in an upright position: The best place to store your toothbrush is on its end in a cup. A toothbrush that is laid flat collects bacteria and will actually do more harm than good. 
  • Don’t share your toothbrush: Sharing a toothbrush is never a good idea, and it can lead to the spread of diseases like hepatitis, mono, and even the common cold. 
  • Don’t use a toothbrush after an illness: During a time of illness, you should replace your toothbrush because you’ll probably be brushing more often. 
  • Clean your toothbrush: Ideally, you should be cleaning your toothbrush every week. You can clean it by soaking it in antibacterial mouthwash or boiling it in water for a few minutes.


Choosing the right toothbrush is a very important part of maintaining good oral health. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three months to get the best results. 

It’s also a good idea to clean your toothbrush once a week to prevent the growth of bacteria. With the right toothbrush, you can keep those pearly whites sparkling for years to come!

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