If you’re brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day, you’re doing a great job of practicing proper oral health care. However, these routine practices might not be as effective as you think if you’re using a toothbrush loaded with bacteria. Brushing your teeth is supposed to remove bacteria from your mouth but you have to keep your toothbrush clean to prevent those bacteria from colonizing on the bristles and undermining your cleaning efforts. Keeping your toothbrush clean with a few simple tips means that your brushing efforts provide maximum benefits, and your oral care stays on target.
Avoid the toilet
You would certainly throw out your toothbrush if it fell in the toilet, but did you know that just storing it near the toilet is a bad idea? With every flush, small water droplets from the bowl get into the air and can travel up to six feet. When your toothbrush is in that range, those droplets can reach it and expose it to the toilet water.
It’s tempting to cover your toothbrush because you believe you’re protecting it from airborne bacteria, but covers aren’t as helpful as you may think. The plastic covers that come on some toothbrushes work like small bacteria incubators because bacteria thrive in moist, warm spots. Instead of covering your toothbrush, rinse it thoroughly with hot water and let it air dry.
Even the best toothbrushes wear out from daily use and when the bristles become frayed and worn, usually after 2-3 months, it’s time to replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head. Along with worn bristles, toothbrushes also suffer a buildup of bacteria and residue over time, so it’s best to replace them when they’re looking past their prime. It’s also important to replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head after you’ve been sick to avoid reinfection from the bacteria on the bristles.
Individual use only
Never share your toothbrush with anyone else, no matter how well you know and like them. Sharing a toothbrush transfers illnesses and dental diseases. Using the same toothbrush can transfer the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, and it’s not worth taking the risk. Everyone needs and deserves his or her own toothbrush to maintain excellent oral health.
No matter what type of toothbrush you use, whether it’s manual, electric or an ultrasonic cleaner, keeping it clean and sanitary is essential for such an important dental tool. Avoid enamel and gum damage by using a brush with soft bristles and keep up with regular check-ups and dental cleanings to catch any problems early. Contact Creative Dental today to schedule your exam or to inquire about the numerous cosmetic dentistry services we offer. We’re dedicated to protecting the health and beauty of your smile.