Your toothbrush is in your mouth four minutes every day, so you want it to be clean. To ensure you always have the ability to brush effectively and stay healthy, make sure it’s clean, stored properly, and know when to retire it. Dr. Mark Sowell of Sensational Smiles in Plano, TX 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 clean with tap water after using it. If toothpaste residue is left behind it means that it won’t be clean for the next time you use it. Also, rinsing will clear away the plaque that was just removed from your teeth and may still be present on the brush.
Store your toothbrush upright and open to allow it to air dry. Storing it this way allows the excess water to run right down off the handle so you won’t get mildew or bacteria growth on your toothbrush. Some bacteria die when exposed to air, so allowing the bristles to dry out kills them off!
Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or at most, every six months when you see your dentist for a regular cleaning. If you notice bristles coming off, bending, or fraying, you know it’s time to replace the brush.
Don’t share toothbrushes with anyone- even a child or spouse. Sharing toothbrushes can transfer bacteria from one mouth to another, risking not only your oral health, but the other person’s as well.
Don’t sanitize the toothbrush in mouthwash or other cleaning agents. This isn’t necessary and may even be toxic to you. Allowing your brush to air dry is sufficient to kill most bacteria.
Don’t store your toothbrush in a closed container. While some of you may have heard that toothbrushes are exposed to bacteria from the toilet when left uncovered, this doesn’t meaning storing them in closed environments is preferred. Being enclosed allows the 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 though. Germs can indeed go airborne after flushing and stick to the toothbrush. Try to find a place to store it far away from the toilet where it’s still able to air dry.
Toothbrushes do not need special cleaning in order to keep them clean and safe to use. A simple rinse after use and allowing them to air dry is enough to keep your smile clean and healthy – just make sure you replace them regularly.
To make sure you’ve been brushing effectively, call (972) 382-6855 or schedule an appointment online.