You probably know when it’s time to get a replacement for your worn out and outdated clothing items or when it’s time to change your old and uncomfortable shoes. But chances are it’s not that easy to detect when you should change your toothbrush.

According to Dr Nosipho Mzobe from the South African Dental Association,  changing a toothbrush should be changed between two to three months depending on the condition of the bristles.  

Other contributing factors may vary from one person to another depending on your preference, usage, and health.

Dr Mzobe says there are a number of signs that could indicate why one needs to change the toothbrush.

Here are five signs that she says could be a complete giveaway that you need a new one:

1.Worn out bristles.

If your bristles of your toothbrush are no longer straight or if they are crooked and bent, that's an indication it's not effective in dealing with dental hygiene.

“Some brushes tend to be fuzzy, soft and are unable to clean your teeth properly and give you the required dental hygiene,” says Dr Mzobe.

For the electrical toothbrush, Dr Mzobe suggests reading the instruction on the manual, that will outline the lifespan of the brush head.

2. Infections

You should change your toothbrush when you have been diagnosed with gum diseases and you are undergoing treatment.

“The bacteria and microorganisms of the infection harbor on the toothbrush while you're undergoing treatment. It preferable to start using a new brush,” she says.

3.Shared toothbrush

If you have noticed or seen that someone has used your toothbrush, you need to change it. Dr Mzobe says, “this will help you avoid cross infections that are transferred by the sharing of a toothbrush particularly if you are susceptible to gum disease.”


If you haven't used your brush in a while or if there is mold or fungus in your brush due to your place of storage. “All toothbrushes should be stored individually to avoid cross-contamination of diseases due to storage,” says Dr Mzobe.


Technique could have an impact on the lifespan, and it may require you to change your toothbrush regularly than the average person.   Due to the amount of pressure applied on the tooth this could result in the wearing of the tooth structure sooner and it could lead to sensitivity of the teeth or require filing.