While most patients focus on brushing, and rightfully so, it is sometimes easy to forget to properly clean the most vital tool in your teeth-cleaning arsenal – your toothbrush. There are literally hundreds of microorganisms in your oral cavity which can easily be transferred to your toothbrush during use. Proper and persistent care can prevent this from happening – below are 4 ways to keep your toothbrush (and mouth!) clean.
Sharing Is Not Caring
While there are those who may think it is harmless to share a toothbrush from time to time, this is simply not the case. When you share a toothbrush, you are also sharing all of the microorganisms and bodily fluids of the other person, which can be a very risky proposition. This is especially true for people who have compromised immune systems, or for those who may be suffering from some sort of infectious disease.
Sharing a brush is also likely to increase the risk of an infection developing, so the next time you feel tempted to share a brush, resist the temptation and think about the consequences.
Rinse Out Your Toothbrush. Every time.
After every time you use your brush, make sure that you thoroughly rinse it out. This will help ensure that there is no toothpaste or other debris left behind.
Tap water should suffice, though it may be appropriate to soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouth rinse if you have an immune system that is compromised for some reason or another.
Proper Storage Is Key
In between brushing, your toothbrush should be positioned upright in a holder and it should be free from any covering so that it is able to air-dry. Keeping the brush covered or stored in a container can actually cause more problems than it solves, as a moist environment promotes greater growth of microorganisms than does exposure to the open air. If there are multiple brushes in one holder, make sure that they are separated in order to prevent any unwanted cross-contamination.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Your toothbrushes should be replaced with relative frequency, as they begin to fray after a certain period of time. This will depend on the individual user and the manner and frequency with which they brush, but in most cases the toothbrush should be replaced once every three to four months. If there is any delay in replacing the brush after this period of time, the brush will begin to become less effective, which is obviously something that you should try to avoid.
Let’s not forget about the kids here either! As one of Chester County’s leading children’s dentist, Dr. Ron suggests replacing a child’s toothbrush with even great frequency then an adult. Studies have shown that nearly 50 percent of children aged three and under suffer from a mild case of gum disease. Practicing good oral hygiene, including proper care of a tooth brush, is important in these early years.
Contact Us Today
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your dental health, please feel free to give us a call at your earliest convenience at 610-692-4440. After all, we are here to help you maintain the health and well being of your teeth, so please allow us to provide you with our expert assistance.