Your toothbrush is actually in your mouth for about four minutes every day, so you’ll want to make sure it’s clean and stored properly, and know when to replace it. The skilled and professional dentists of Levesque Family Dentistry of Nashua, NH would like to review with you some do’s and don’ts of caring for your toothbrush.
Rinse your toothbrush out under the faucet after using it. Leaving toothpaste residue on it means that it won’t be clean for the next time you use it. Plus, rinsing it off will clear away the plaque that you just removed from your teeth.
Store the brush in an upright position and out in the open so the air can dry it. This also allows the excess water to drip off of it so you can avoid mildew or bacteria growing on your toothbrush. Most common bacteria die when exposed to air, so letting the brush dry out is good for you.
Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or every six months when you see your dentist for a regular cleaning at the absolute latest. If you notice that the bristles on your brush are coming off, bending, or fraying, you should replace the brush.
Don’t share toothbrushes. Sharing toothbrushes exposes two people to each other’s germs and bacteria, risking not only your oral health, but the other person’s as well.
Don’t sanitize your toothbrush in mouthwash or other sanitizing agents. It is unnecessary and may even be toxic to you. Allowing the brush to air dry should be sufficient to kill off the bacteria that may get transferred from your mouth to your brush.
Don’t store it in a closed container. While you may have heard “horror stories” that toothbrushes are exposed to bacteria from the toilet whenever it flushes, you still shouldn’t store them in closed containers. Closing them up inside something hinders them from drying out and allows bacteria to flourish in the moist, closed environment. This can be harmful to your mouth and your health.
However, don’t store your toothbrush too close to the toilet. Germs can indeed go airborne after flushing and could possibly stick to the toothbrush. Try to store it far away from the toilet but somewhere that it’s still able to air dry.
Toothbrushes don’t require special cleaning in order to keep them sanitary and safe. Simply rinsing them after use and allowing them to air dry is enough to keep your brush clean and your smile healthy – just make sure you replace your brush regularly.
Brushing your teeth alone is not enough to guarantee a healthy smile. If you’re in the Nashua, NH area, schedule a cleaning and examination with your friendly neighborhood dentist at Levesque Family Dentistry. Call (603) 547-9203 to schedule today or contact us online.