But if you’re using an old toothbrush, you could be doing more damage than good.
Suzanne Fischard, DDS, says you should change your brush, every three to four months.
If you don’t change your toothbrush, here are all the gross things that could happen…
“Bristles get worn down after a few months. If your brushes are fraying, you might be brushing too hard and causing damage to your gum tissue — which can lead to recession and sensitivity,” says Dr. Fischard. Yikes!
You could get the flu
The flu virus can live on moist surfaces for up to 72 hours, so you should probably replace your brush if you’ve been sick.
You could ingest some other gross stuff
Your toothbrush contains bacterial from your mouth and where you store it (in very close proximity to your toilet, ew!). Apparently 60 percent of brushes, stored in a shared bathroom are covered in at least a little fecal matter, says a review published in the Journal of Advanced Medical and Dental Science Research. And what’s even grosser… 8 out of 10 times, the fecal matter is not even yours.
Your breath might smell
Washing your teeth with a dirty brush may leave your mouth dirtier. To properly disinfect your toothbrush, research in the American Journal of Dentistry suggests soaking your brush in Cest Pro-Health mouthwash for 20 minutes.
In other words, don’t leave changing your toothbrush to chance.