Remembering to replace your toothbrush is one of those things that we all know we need to do, but always forget to do so. That is until one morning you’re brushing your teeth and realize the bristles are flat. Gross. Even those who take the most care of their teeth- you know those people that floss every night- forget to replace their toothbrush.

But, did you know that your toothbrush accumulates tons of bacteria when it’s not replaced frequently enough? When you wash your toothbrush, you remove a decent amount of the germs, but not nearly enough as when you replace it entirely.

You should replace your toothbrush at least every three months. Germs start to pile on the brush, and the bristles start to wear out, making the toothbrush less effective. It’s also essential to replace your toothbrush every time you’re sick.

When you’re sick, your bacteria can get transferred from your infected mouth to your toothbrush. And then once you get better and use that same toothbrush, those bacteria are still there- meaning you can easily reinfect yourself.

The best way to remind yourself to replace your toothbrush is to keep track of how long you’re using it and how worn out the bristles get. Buy a pack of a few toothbrushes at the store, so you always have one on hand when you feel like your brush isn’t doing as good of a job. It’s essential to keep your teeth and mouth healthy, so you’ll stay smiling all day long.