The way that you go about taking care of your toothbrush can actually have an impact on your oral health. Patients don't always consider how they're cleaning and storing their toothbrushes, but it's one aspect of dental care that we should definitely pay more attention to!
Here are a few ways that you can ensure that your toothbrush is clean, disinfected, and ready to do its job in keeping your teeth and smile healthy and shiny.
Tips on caring for toothbrush care:
- Swap out your brush regularly. Just like any tool, a toothbrush is not expected to last forever. It will eventually experience wear and tear. The first thing you may notice is that its bristles start to fray. This is a good time to replace it. You may also want to replace your toothbrush if you have recently had a cold or the flu, so that you don't once again come into contact with those nasty germs.
- Rinse after every use. As soon as you brush your teeth, you should be rinsing it under the faucet for a good 20 seconds or so. This helps remove food particles, bacteria, and excess toothpaste from the brush.
- Don't share your toothbrush. Kids sometimes will use someone else's toothbrush, grabbing the nearest one to use before bed. This gives bacteria an opportunity to transfer from one mouth to another, heightening the odds of developing tooth decay and cavities. Each person in your household should have their own dedicated toothbrush and not borrow anyone else's.
- Soak your brush in antibacterial mouthwash when not in use. Some recent evidence suggests that doing so, shortly after brushing your teeth can reduce the buildup of bacteria. So you could keep a container of mouthwash near your sink, and place your toothbrush in it overnight. This also prevents creepy crawlies from visiting your toothbrush for a sip of water while you sleep. Not a pleasant thought!
How Often To Replace Toothbrush
Every toothbrush has a certain lifespan. You should normally be replacing your toothbrush about every three months. If you notice significant wear and tear, you can even replace it before then to be on the safe side.
Electric Toothbrush Care
When it comes to an electric toothbrush, you may not need to keep it covered at home, but definitely do cover it on the road. When traveling, place your electric toothbrush in its holder without it being able to roll around uncovered in your bag or suitcase so that it can accumulate dirt, dust and bacteria.
At home, don't store your electric toothbrush in a toothbrush holder with a high moisture content that can promote the growth of bacteria. If you need to use a covered holder, choose one that has small holes to let air circulate.
The Bottom Line
The above tips are some great ways to improve your oral hygiene routine at home. To ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy, keep your toothbrush clean and properly taken care of. Exercise common sense when putting your toothbrush away, and avoid exposing it to more bacteria and germs.
Thanks for your support!
- Dr. Houlik