It’s estimated that your toothbrush is in your mouth four minutes every day. So when you look at it that way, you want it to be clean because four minutes is a long time to have something dirty in your mouth. To make sure your toothbrush is actually helping you brush effectively, it’s important that it’s kept clean, stored properly, and replaced when it’s worn out. Dr. Nicholas F Gardner of Gouverneur NY encourages you to take a look at the do’s and don’ts of how to care for your toothbrush so you can keep your smile healthy.
Rinse your toothbrush clean under the faucet after using it. If germs or even toothpaste is left behind it means that it won’t be clean for the next time you use it. Also, rinsing washes away the plaque that you just removed from your teeth and may still be clinging to the brush.
Store your toothbrush standing upright and in the open to allow it to dry properly. Storing it upright allows the excess water to run right down off the handle so it’s less likely you’ll get mildew or bacteria growth on your toothbrush. Most bacteria wither away when exposed to air, so allowing the bristles to dry out kills them off!
Replace your toothbrush when it begins wearing out- usually every 3-4 months, or at most, every six months. A good way to remember to do this is to replace it when you see your Dr. Gardner for your regular cleaning. If your bristles are coming off, bent, or frayed, you know it’s time to replace the brush.
Don’t share toothbrushes with anybody else- even a child or spouse. Sharing toothbrushes is an easy way to transfer bacteria from one mouth to another. This risks not only your oral health, but the other person’s as well.
Don’t sanitize your brush with mouthwash or other cleaning agents. Doing this is unnecessary and may even be toxic to you. Allowing your brush to air dry is enough to kill most bacteria.
Don’t store your toothbrush inside a closed container. Although you might have heard that toothbrushes can be exposed to bacteria from the toilet when left uncovered in a bathroom, this doesn’t mean that storing them in closed environments is preferable. Storage in an enclosed space allows the bacteria to flourish in a closed environment with the moisture remaining on your brush. These bacteria thriving are the first step on the path to tooth decay!
However, don’t leave your toothbrush too close to the toilet either. Germs can actually go airborne after flushing and find their way to your toothbrush. You should store it somewhere far away from the toilet where it’s still able to air dry.
Toothbrushes don’t need special cleaning in order to remain clean and safe to use. Simply rinsing after use and allowing them to air dry should be enough to keep your toothbrush clean and ready to help your smile stay healthy – just make sure you replace them regularly.
To make sure you’ve been brushing effectively and to stay on top of your oral health, call (315) 203-1772 or schedule an appointment online.