You know you should pay attention to the foods and beverages that you put into your mouth for your health and your weight, but how much attention do you pay to your toothbrush? If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your toothbrush, or it is looking ragged, chances are you are long overdue for a new toothbrush. It is important to remember that your toothbrush is a tool used to clean your mouth. However, if the tool itself is not clean, it is not going to do a very good job cleaning your mouth.
Tips for caring for your toothbrush:
- Rinse your toothbrush well. Your toothbrush was designed to loosen and remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. Plaque is a very sticky substance, and it easily becomes trapped in the bristles of your toothbrush. By rinsing your toothbrush well under fast, running water after each use, you will help to rinse away lingering plaque.
- Air dry your toothbrush. Plaque is laden with bacteria, and as with all bacteria, those that are left behind on your toothbrush thrive in moist conditions. By air drying your toothbrush in an uncovered and upright position after each use, you are eliminating the ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. If you must cover your toothbrush for travel, make sure that it is completely dry before packing it.
- Keep your toothbrush away from the toilet. As unpleasant as this is to think about, it is necessary. With every flush of a toilet, there is overspray that enters the air. This overspray contains urine and fecal matter that will land on anything in its path. If your bathroom does not have a door separating the toilet from the rest of the room, it is imperative that you strategically place your toothbrush as far away from the toilet. Enough said.
- Do not share your toothbrush. Remember, your toothbrush removes bacteria-laden plaque from your mouth. If you share your toothbrush, it is also removing bacteria-laden plaque from someone else’s mouth – thus you are sharing a lot more than a toothbrush. Keep your toothbrush to yourself!
- Replace your toothbrush often. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush every 3-6 months. This is why you receive a new toothbrush at each dental visit. Your dentist understands how important it is to use a clean tool for cleaning your teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush after you have been sick. If you have been sick with a cold, the flu, strep throat, a stomach bug, or any other illness, it is important to understand that germs can linger on almost any surface for up to 10 days. By replacing your toothbrush after illness, you are reducing the chance for re-infection.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Randy Muccioli, Muccioli Dental
Muccioli Dental - Johns Creek Dentist
6300 Hospital Pkwy, Suite 275
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097
Phone: (678) 389-9955