In our general and cosmetic dentistry practice we give our patients a “goody” bag at the end of each appointment. I’m always surprised when a patient will say, “Oh good, the last toothbrush you gave me is worn out.” According to the ADA you should replace your toothbrush every 3 months, and even more frequently if the bristles look worn or frayed. If you have had an infectious illness like strep throat, you will need to replace your brush then as well. Extending the life of your tooth brush past its recommended time span will contribute to plaque accumulation as the bristles degrade and are no longer effective at mechanically removing the plaque. This plaque accumulation will then contribute to the development of tooth decay and gum disease. The same recommendation applies to the heads for an electric toothbrush as well.