Caring for your toothbrush is incredibly important, yet many people do not give it a moment’s thought. However, if you stop to think about what your toothbrush is used for – cleaning your teeth – it may become more apparent how using a clean toothbrush is necessary for keeping your mouth clean.
Below are tips for caring for your toothbrush:
- Never share your toothbrush. Your toothbrush is a tool that is designed to clean your mouth of bacteria-laden plaque that builds up on your teeth throughout each day. If you share a toothbrush with someone else, you are putting their dirty bacteria into your mouth. Gross!
- Rinse your toothbrush well. After each use, it is important that you rinse your toothbrush well under fast, running water. Plaque and food particles are easily trapped in the bristles of your toothbrush during each use. By taking the time to rinse your toothbrush off, you will rinse away the particles that are trapped on your toothbrush so that you are not putting them back inside your mouth with the next use.
- Air dry your toothbrush. Your toothbrush is a moist object after you use it, and bacteria thrive in moist environments. After you rinse your toothbrush, store it in an upright position, uncovered, so that it can air dry quickly. This will eliminate the environment for any remaining bacteria to thrive, keeping your toothbrush clean for as long as possible. If you must cover your toothbrush for travel, make sure that your toothbrush is completely dry before packing.
- Keep your toothbrush away from the toilet. If your bathroom does not have a door separating the toilet from the rest of the room, it is imperative that you pay attention to where you store your toothbrush. With every flush of the toilet, overspray enters the air. This overspray contains urine and fecal matter, and it will land on anything in its path. Make sure your toothbrush is not in the line of fire!
- Replace your toothbrush often. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush every 3-6 months. Bacteria from the mouth will inevitably be trapped within the bristles of the toothbrush over time. By replacing your toothbrush often, you will ensure that you are using a clean tool to clean your teeth. If you have ever wondered why your dentist gives you a new toothbrush at each visit, this is why.
- Replace your toothbrush after you have been ill. Germs can linger for up to 10 days on any surface, and your toothbrush is one of the most available places for them to linger since it has been inside your mouth. If you have been ill with a cold, the flu, strep throat, a stomach bug, or any other illness, replace your toothbrush after your illness subsides. Otherwise, you are putting yourself at risk for re-infection.
At Brentwood Dental Group, we are here for all of your dental health care needs. Please contact our practice today to schedule an appointment. We will have a new toothbrush waiting for you when you arrive!
Posted on behalf of Brentwood Dental Group