Breaking up with your old toothbrush

New research shows 40 per cent of Aussies are ignoring professional advice and failing to change their toothbrush every three months, in line with recommendation from the Australian Dental Association.

In the 2024 survey commissioned by Colgate, results showed that young people hold onto their toothbrush for the longest, with 47 per cent of people aged 25-34 years and 25 per cent of those 18-24 years keeping their toothbrush for over three months.

Toothbrush bristles can harbour bacteria and become frayed and worn over time, which significantly diminishes their cleaning effectiveness. “Using an old toothbrush is like trying to clean your floors with a worn-out broom,” says Dr Mikaela Chinotti, Australian Dental Association (ADA) Oral Health Promoter, proudly supported by Colgate. “You just won’t get the same level of cleanliness, and in the case of oral hygiene, this can lead to a build-up of plaque, which can cause tooth decay and other oral health issues.”

“It is important to keep your toothbrush dry, ideally stored where it will get plenty of airflow and change it regularly. I always change mine on the first day of a season, that’s just the way I remember,” Dr Chinotti adds.

Dr Susan Cartwright, former dentist turned Colgate Expert Educator, highlights that changing your toothbrush regularly is not only about maintaining oral hygiene but also about investing in overall health. “A clean, effective toothbrush is a powerful tool in your health arsenal. We want everyone to understand that this simple change every three months can make a significant difference.”