How to Make Your Tooth Brush Last Indefinitely




About: Every now and then I come up with a unique idea. And then I find someone else has already thought of it . . . which is AWESOME! Who knew there were so many kindred spirits on the web! YOU GO all o' us!

Recently, I discovered a way to make my toothbrush last several times longer than usual. I think the recommended retirement age for a toothbrush is 3 months, but my current brush is going on 4 months and looks almost new. Yes, the end is nowhere in sight for this toothbrush!
I have found two things that help achieve a longevous toothbrush.

If you appreciate this instructible, please visit my blog for more ideas:

Step 1: Step the First:

1) Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly (for about ten seconds) after brushing.

Step 2: Step the Secondest:

2) Hold your toothbrush with only two fingers in a light grip.

Step 3: Three-step

3)  Use regular Crest toothpaste.  (Actually, I think you can use any type of toothpaste, but some kinds (like Crest Total Care) require extra, extra long rinsing.

Step 4: How I Discovered This Method

I discovered these longevity techniques by accident about seven months ago. That's when I decided I didn't like the natural buildup of tooth-pasty residue on my toothbrush handles. To combat that, I started rinsing it much longer after brushing. This not only kept the residue away, but I noticed the bristles stayed together (meaning they didn't splay outwards) for much, much longer! Then I discoverd the second important aspect of toothbrush longevity: light pressure. After my wife borrowed my toothbrush for a week and scrubbed the enamel off her teeth, my toothbrush looked completely worn out. I hadn't realized pressure was important before, because I was already brushing lightly (after an oral hygenist chastised me for brushing too hard, resulting in my early onset receding gumlines). So brush lightly!

When visiting my in-laws, I used their toothpaste, a "total care" kind that does tartar control amongst other things.  It turned out that my toothbrush was stiffening up because even rinsing for 10+ seconds it rinsed out in chunks.  So use a regular toothpaste (I use Crest because it's the cheapest).

Of course there's always the ultimate toothbrush saving technique: Don't brush! :)

Step 5: Update! Lasts for Years

Update! I have now been using this same toothbrush for over two years! There is still no end in sight!

I just soak it in alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (8%) overnight every few months to disinfect.

I did have to cut off a bristle that decided to poke itself out sideways once.  Other than that, this thing is astonishing like-new.

I'm now starting to wonder if the main factor is that this toothbrush is a generic brand, hence the company hasn't performed any "factory planned obsolescence research."

Whatever, I'm still saving myself $1 every three months.  (Yay, one more buck for me.)



    • Barbecue Challenge

      Barbecue Challenge
    • Games Contest

      Games Contest
    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest

    8 Discussions


    2 years ago

    My toothbrush splays out if I brush my molars up and down on the outsides I found. Maybe it could do with how you move it when brushing maybe? Dunno. I did find a kind of clip that I put on my brush that clamps around the bristles and actually squeezes them back to being straight so the next night they are all in a row again. Does anyone know what I am talking about? I would love to find another one or two as it was awesome until my wife stepped on it and now it is in two parts...


    8 years ago on Introduction

    To be honest, I think the reason you're seeing much less wear on your toothbrush is because by holding it in that light grip, you're not using as much pressure when you brush. Pushing the bristles up against your teeth when you are brushing is what causes them to splay out like that.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    My dentist showed me this trick. I have periodontal disease. Holding the toothbrush like ths prevents you from "scrubbing" the teeth too hard causing you to push the gums up too high. With peridontal disease pushing the gums up is not something you want to do. Plus if you do it this way before you already have this problem, it will help reduce the chances of getting it.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Who in the world changes there toothbrush every 3 or 4 months? Most people change it once a year when the dentist gives them a new one.

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Absolutely. People don't think about the sick part. I've been doing that for years.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I imagine that this method spends a lot of clean water... maybe its not the most efficient way.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    i was thinking the same thing. specially since you can buy name brand toothbrush's at the dollar store.