Caring For Your Toothbrush
August 30, 2016
One of the most important items in your home to keep clean may also be one of the most overlooked items in your home: your toothbrush. If you stop to think about what you use your toothbrush for – cleaning your teeth and mouth – it may seem so obvious that it needs to be kept clean. However, many people simply forget. Below are simple ways to ensure that your toothbrush is kept as clean as possible.
- Rinse your toothbrush well. Your toothbrush is a tool that is meant to loosen and remove bacteria-laden plaque from the surfaces of the teeth. Each time you use your toothbrush, there will be plaque left behind. By rinsing your toothbrush well under fast, running water you are helping to rinse away bacteria so that it does not re-enter your mouth with the next use.
- Store your toothbrush upright and allow it to air dry. As with all bacteria, oral bacteria thrive in moist environments. By storing your toothbrush in an upright position and allowing it to air dry, lingering bacteria will not flourish. Do not use a toothbrush cover unless you are traveling, and even then it is important for the toothbrush to be dry before it is covered.
- Keep your toothbrush away from the toilet. Many bathrooms do not have a door that separates the toilet from the rest of the bathroom. It is extremely important that you pay attention to where your toothbrush rests because with every flush of the toilet there is overspray in the air. Urine and fecal matter fly through the air and will land on anything in their path – you do not want them to land on your toothbrush!
- Do not share your toothbrush. Remember, each time you use your toothbrush there will be plaque left behind. By sharing a toothbrush, you are inviting someone else’s bacteria-laden plaque into your mouth. Gross!
- Replace your toothbrush often. If you have ever wondered why your dentist gives you a new toothbrush at every visit, it is because s/he understands the importance of using a clean toothbrush. Despite rinsing it well and airing it dry, your toothbrush will have a buildup of bacteria over months of use. It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3-6 months.
- Replace your toothbrush after illness. Germs can linger for days, so it is vital that you replace your toothbrush after a cold, the flu, strep throat, a stomach bug, or any other illness. Not doing so leaves you at a high risk for re-infection.
At Heritage Dentistry, we want all of our patients to achieve a healthy smile. Call today to schedule an appointment. We will have a new toothbrush waiting for you!