Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important step in your daily dental hygiene routine. However, if your toothbrush is due for replacement or it is harboring bacteria, you may not be getting the most out of your twice-daily brushing. To keep your toothbrush in good condition, be sure to follow these six easy steps!
1. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
According to the American Dental Association, you should replace your toothbrush at least once every 3 or 4 months. If you’re not certain when you last swapped out your toothbrush, you can always examine the bristles. If they appear frayed or worn, it is likely time to change it. Not only will this help to ensure that your toothbrush is removing plaque and debris effectively, but it will also protect you from the harmful bacteria that inevitably builds up on your toothbrush over time.
2. Do not share your toothbrush.
It may come as no surprise that sharing your toothbrush with someone else is not exactly the best idea. Sharing a toothbrush leads to the exchange of bodily fluids and microorganisms, increasing your risk for infection. If you or the other individual happen to have a compromised immune system or infectious disease, avoiding sharing toothbrushes is even more critical. You’ll also want to avoid storing your toothbrushes too close together for these same reasons.
3. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use.
Each time you brush your teeth, remember to rinse thoroughly with tap water afterwards. If you’re traveling and the water is not safe to drink, you should use bottled or filtered water to rinse your toothbrush. This will allow you to remove the germs and debris from the bristles of your toothbrush.
4. Store your toothbrush properly.
The ideal way to store your toothbrush is to allow it to hang or stand in an upright position in an open air environment. The idea is to prevent the toothbrush from sitting in moisture that would encourage the growth of microorganisms on the bristles. Therefore, standing it upright where it can air dry after each use is preferable to keeping the toothbrush in an airtight container that traps in moisture. You’ll also want to avoid keeping the toothbrush too close to the toilet or shower, so as to prevent bacterial growth.
5. Make sure your travel container is the proper size.
If you use a travel container for your toothbrush while you’re on the road, be sure that it is not too tight and has a hole to allow for drainage and ventilation. This will help to prevent bacteria from building up in the case and on your toothbrush. Once you’re done with your travels, try throwing your case in the dishwasher to clean it out!
6. Replace your toothbrush when you get sick.
If you’re dealing with an infection, or you store your toothbrush close to that of someone who has been sick, it is best to replace your toothbrush and start fresh. Germs can easily collect on the bristles of your toothbrush, and therefore they may be harboring the bacteria that made you sick. Replacing your toothbrush will help you to avoid getting sick again.
There’s more to a good oral healthcare regimen than just brushing your teeth! Visiting the dentist for a check-up and professional cleaning every six months allows your teeth and gums to stay in good health. To schedule your appointment, contact Olympia Fields Dental Associates today!