How Many Toothbrush Heads Do You Need?

Last Updated: July 27, 2022

You probably know that toothbrushes need to be replaced every 3 months, or sooner if the bristles are worn or frayed. But with toothbrush multipacks and replacement head packs, it can be hard to know how many toothbrushes or toothbrush head replacements you should buy. We’ve crunched the numbers, so you know just how much to stock up on toothbrush replacement heads. But first, let’s cover the basics.

What is a Toothbrush Replacement Head?

Toothbrush replacement heads are small, detachable components that contain the toothbrush’s bristles and fit on a toothbrush base or handle. Because replacement heads are smaller than an entire toothbrush, they create less plastic waste over time. Electric toothbrushes have detachable heads, and some manual toothbrushes do now too. (Check out Colgate Keep toothbrushes if you’re interested in a reusable manual toothbrush!)

Is there a difference between replacing your toothbrush and replacing a toothbrush replacement head? Sort of. The parts are different, but the process and the end goal — to discard bristles that are worn or have bacteria buildup and replace them with fresh, clean bristles — are the same.

How Often Should You Change Your Electric Toothbrush Head?

Should electric toothbrush heads be replaced more frequently than manual toothbrushes? Not necessarily. Manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads can be used for three to four months. Remember to brush gently to help protect your gums – doing so also helps extend the life of your toothbrush bristles. If toothbrush bristles wear down and you notice yourself brushing more vigorously, replace your brush head, even if it has been less than three months.

hum by Colgate Smart Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush + Replacement Heads

If you’re a hum by Colgate toothbrush user, your toothbrush refill heads come in packs of two. Order two refill packs each year or one every six months to have plenty of hum’s expert-designed toothbrush replacement heads on hand.

Do toothbrush heads expire?

Toothbrush replacement heads that have been opened and exposed to moisture are susceptible to bacteria buildup. If you’re replacing your toothbrush head from a bulk refill pack, keep the new heads in a clean, dry place until you’re ready to use them.

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