How to Properly Care for Your Toothbrush
When it comes to maintaining a healthy and happy mouth, few things are more important than keeping your toothbrush clean. Maintaining a solid routine of brushing and flossing is essential, but when your toothbrush is not clean, harmful bacteria can be introduced into your mouth, which can lead to a number of issues. The team at Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry would like to offer the following tips on how to keep your toothbrush as clean as possible.
Why is a Dirty Toothbrush a Problem?
Researchers have studied the microorganisms that can live on a toothbrush, and the results would surprise many people. A vast range of bacteria is present on the average toothbrush, and it is possible that some of those germs can cause illness or infection. Another indelicate fact is that many Americans store their toothbrushes in very close proximity to the toilet. Studies have shown that during flushing, tiny droplets of toilet water become airborne. How many of those eventually land on your toothbrush? The answer is simple: even one is one too many.
How to Store Your Toothbrush
One of the easiest ways to maintain a cleaner toothbrush is to implement proper storage techniques. That means thoroughly rinsing the toothbrush after each use, and storing the brush upright so that that moisture can evaporate quickly. A dry environment is inhospitable to bacterial growth, which is good for your mouth. Also, if family members store toothbrushes in the same place, select a holder that keeps the brush heads from making contact with one another. While the toothbrush holder should not be located immediately next to the toilet, it should also not be stored in a cabinet or closet. Proper airflow is ideal for a dry brush.
Storage During Travel
When on the road, it can be difficult to maintain optimal toothbrush storage practices. Many travelers purchase a toothbrush cover that snaps on to their brush, which protects bristles from other toiletry items while in transit. The problem is that the enclosed space that such covers provide is an ideal environment for bacterial growth. The situation becomes even worse when the capped brush is placed in a toiletry bag, which is then placed in a suitcase. Travelers can keep their toothbrush cleaner by drying the brush with a clean towel before placing it back in their bag or even blasting the bristles briefly with the hotel hair dryer.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Frequently replacing your toothbrush is a sure way to reduce bacteria levels. Toothbrush bristles wear down over time and become less effective at removing plaque from the surface of teeth. A good rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. A new toothbrush should also be called to duty any time that you recover from an illness. Fortunately, it is possible to purchase toothbrushes in multiple packs at big box stores or online, which can save money and ensure that there is always a replacement brush handy.
At Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, our team is always available to answer any questions that you have regarding proper dental practices and oral health. We look forward to seeing you and your family on your next visit to our office!