Your toothbrush is in your mouth for four minutes every day, so you should make sure it’s clean and stored properly, and know when to retire it when the time comes. Valley Dental Health of Cockeysville MD 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 thoroughly with tap water after use. If you leave toothpaste residue on your brush the odds are that you’re also leaving behind food particles and plaque that you just removed.
Store the brush upright in the open air to allow it to air dry. Being upright allows water to run out of the bristles so the brush drys off so you won’t get mildew or bacteria growth on your toothbrush. Most bacteria only thrive in moist places so the exposure to the open air kills them.
Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or at the absolute latest, every six months. A good way to remember this is to do it when you see your dentist for your regular cleaning. If you see bristles coming off, bending, or fraying, replace the brush as soon as possible.
Don’t share toothbrushes. Sharing toothbrushes can transfer bacteria in our mouths to others, risking not only your oral health, but the other person’s as well.
Don’t sanitize the toothbrush in mouthwash or other sanitizing agents. This isn’t necessary and could even be toxic to you. Allowing the brush to air dry should be sufficient to kill bacteria that you might be worrying you.
Don’t store your toothbrush in a closed container. While you may have heard “horror stories” that toothbrushes are exposed to bacteria from the toilet, it’s just as bad to store them in closed containers. This allows bacteria to flourish in moisture and a closed environment, which would be harmful to your mouth.
However, don’t store your toothbrush too close to the toilet either. Indeed, germs can go airborne after flushing and stick to the toothbrush. Toothbrushes should be stored far away from the toilet but in a place where it’s still able to dry out in the open air.
Toothbrushes don’t require special cleaning in order to keep them sanitary. Merely rinsing them after use and allowing them to air dry is enough to keep you healthy – just make sure you replace them every 4-6 months regularly.