How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrushes and Razors?

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Grooming products like your toothbrush and razor are incredibly important. We use them every single day to keep our faces looking smooth and our teeth shiny (as well as free of cavities).

Each time you use your toothbrush and razor, you’re decreasing the overall effectiveness of said items. But that brings us to the complicated question: how often should you replace these important items?

Toothbrush Replacement Basics

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months with standard usage. This assumes you brush your teeth twice per day, every day. This general rule applies to both traditional (manual) toothbrushes and electric (powered) toothbrushes. However, this is a guideline, and there are specific considerations that can affect this recommendation.

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Traditional Toothbrush Replacement Considerations

From a pure time-passing perspective, the ADA’s recommendation to replace your toothbrush every three to four months makes sense. However, you should always consider more than just the passage of time when replacing a toothbrush.

  • Fraying Bristles: As soon as the bristles on your brush start fraying, it would be best if you replaced your toothbrush. Once the bristles are frayed, they lose their effectiveness. You don’t want to stand there for two minutes each time you brush your teeth and not accomplish anything.
  • Illness: Additionally, anytime you’re sick, you should swap out your toothbrush or brush head. Your mouth is filled with bacteria, and the last thing you want to do is keep spreading those germs around once you’re not sick anymore. It’s better to spend a few bucks on a new toothbrush than to get sick again.

This rule applies to everyone in the household, even if they did not show symptoms. Germs can easily spread through toothbrushes sitting next to each other in a shared bathroom. So, replace everyone’s toothbrush once someone is sick.

  • Exposure to Bacteria: Last but certainly not least, you should replace your toothbrush if the brush head comes into contact with anything that isn’t your mouth. If you drop it on the floor, you should get a new one. If someone else accidentally uses your toothbrush, you should get a new one.

You want to minimize the number of bacteria that enter your mouth, and being careful with your toothbrush is a great way to do that. So anytime your toothbrush is exposed to bacteria in any way, you should replace it.

Tip: Here are some ways to whiten your teeth and brighten your smile.

Electric Toothbrush Replacement Times

In general, replacement times for electric toothbrush heads resemble traditional toothbrushes. You should replace the head of your electric toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles look worn. You should also replace the head of your electric toothbrush if you become sick or if the head becomes exposed to anything unintentionally.

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The rest of your electric toothbrush will eventually wear out as well. Most manufacturers recommend you replace your entire electric toothbrush every three to five years. This will prevent any electrical malfunction and ensure your brush is up to American Dental Association standards for cleaning your teeth.

Check out some of the best electric toothbrush under $100.

Razor Replacement Basics

Depending on the type of razor you use, they are not cheap to replace. You want to get as much life out of the razor as you possibly can so you can maximize on your investment. However, you also don’t want to use a disgusting-looking razor that mangles your skin or causes irritation. So when should you replace your razor?

In general, the American Academy of Dermatologists recommends you replace your razor blade every five to seven shaves. However, this can vary based on how often you use the razor, your hair type, and the quality of the razor itself.

Men’s Razor Replacement Tips

Unfortunately, most men’s razors do not list how often you should replace the blades or grab a new disposable razor. However, the easiest way to know when it’s time to toss it out is when you feel the razor pulling on your hair as you move it across your face. Shaving strokes should feel smooth, so if it isn’t, that means it’s time to replace the blade.

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If you pull out your razor and notice an accumulation of gunk that doesn’t wash away immediately, then it’s time to replace that blade. Also, if you notice that you aren’t getting as close shave or you notice patchy, missed spots after you shave.

These general rules apply to both disposable (throw-away) razors and straight razors where you simply replace the blade. However, these tips do not apply to electric razors (see below).

Women’s Razor Replacement Tips

In general, women’s razors work in a very similar way to men’s razors. Therefore, you should also replace them after five to seven shaves. However, the signs of when to replace them look a little different, since leg hair is often a different texture than men’s facial hair.

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If you notice that your razor is causing irritation (also called razor burn), then that’s a clear indication you should replace the blade or head. Also, if you notice that the razor isn’t cutting well or you are not getting a close shave, it’s time to replace the blade.

Women’s razors can accumulate gunk in the blades like men’s razors. If you notice this and it doesn’t quickly rinse out, then it’s time to replace the razor. Of course, women usually leave their razors in the bathtub or shower, which makes them more susceptible to rust. If you see any signs of rust, you should immediately throw out the razor or remove the razor head.

Electric Razor Replacement Times

Electric razors are typically more durable than traditional razors. This applies to both men’s electric trimmers and women’s electric razors. Therefore, you do not need to replace the blades on these every five to seven shaves.

Instead, electric razor blades should usually be replaced every four to six months. Again, the exact replacement time may vary based on how often you shave and your hair. However, this general guideline works for most people who shave in average intervals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I replace my toothbrush if my gums bleed?

Generally, bleeding gums are a sign that you are brushing too aggressively or because you have made sudden changes to your oral hygiene routine. If you just changed your toothbrush and notice bleeding gums, ensure it is a soft bristle toothbrush.

Is it possible to clean a razor?

One of the best ways to get the most use out of a razor is by cleaning it after each use. To do this, take your razor to the sink and rinse it out, then apply a small amount of anti-bacterial soap to the razor, gently scrub if you can, and wash away the soap. Let the razor air dry for several hours after doing this.

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Megan Glosson

Megan Glosson is a passionate writer based in Nashville, TN. She enjoys writing about topics related to health, wellness, and everyday life, especially when the topic has a personal connection to her own life. Megan is currently published on over a dozen websites, including YourTango, Feel & Thrive,, and The Mighty. Megan also serves as a content editor for Unwritten, a digital publication focused on millennial lifestyles.