Many people think that they get a better clean from using an electric toothbrush. And they are oftentimes correct. But does that mean that the standard recommendation to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months no longer applies? Not really.
The bristles of an electric toothbrush head still wear over time and become less effective, just like a regular toothbrush. The difference is you only have to change the head instead of the entire toothbrush.
There are situations when you would also need to replace the head more frequently. For instance, if you have tooth decay or gum disease and have received treatment for it, your dentist may recommend a new replacement head. The reason for this is because even after you get a cavity filled or have a deep cleaning for gum disease, the bacteria that caused your tooth decay and gum disease may still be present on your
toothbrush. By switching it out, you will prevent spreading it on your newly cleaned/treated teeth and gums.
Another situation in which you might decide to change toothbrush heads is after you have been sick, so as not to re-introduce the virus or bacteria that caused the illness into your mouth. Also, if someone else has used your toothbrush, it is a good idea to switch the head to prevent them from passing along any number of problems to you.
Of course, changing the head just because it is getting worn is reason enough to stick to a schedule. Sometimes a toothbrush will not seem worn even if it is, causing damage to the gum tissue in the form of bleeding and infection. Also, if you have been improperly storing your toothpaste, an excess of bacteria may have built up on it. Always store your toothbrush where it can receive good air circulation in order to dry completely between uses.
Keeping an extra head on hand at all time will make it easy to swap it out when the time comes. Just make sure you remember to change it every three to four months and your electric toothbrush will continue to clean and protect your smile for years to come.