Caring for your teeth is not enough to ensure oral health. You also need to take good care of your toothbrush. Knowing how to clean and store your toothbrush will ensure it doesn't accumulate germs that can counteract all the good work you do when you brush and floss. A toothbrush covered with bacteria, mold, and decaying food particles not only sounds totally disgusting, but also harbors germs that are detrimental to your oral health no matter how much toothpaste and mouthwash you use.
How to Clean your Toothbrush
- Rinse before and after each use with hot water. Move your thumb back and forth across the bristles under the running water. This is important before brushing in order to remove airborne particles and bacteria that may have reached your toothbrush since you last brushed.
- For extra measure, you can deep sanitize your toothbrush once a week. Soak it in an over the counter antibacterial solution for at least 10 minutes. You can also make a homemade solution with 1/3 part bleach and 2/3 part water, or soak your brush in straight vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
- Replace your toothbrush at least every 3 to 4 months. However, if you regularly brush three or more times a day, you may notice that the bristles get worn out after only a month or two.
How to Store your Toothbrush
- Store your toothbrush out in the open so it can dry. Bacteria thrive in damp places with low levels of oxygen, so storing your toothbrush in a closed container increases the risk of contamination.
- Store your toothbrush in an upright position with the bristles at the top. This allows water to drain off the bristles. Try not to store the toothbrush in a container that doesn't drain, as a nasty scum will accumulate at the bottom of the container. The container will also harbor bacteria.
- Use a toothbrush stand or hanging holder that does not allow contact between one toothbrush and another.
- There is no problem with storing your toothbrush about 2 or 3 feet away from the toilet bowl. But storing in on the toilet tank is not recommended.
Make sure you don't accidentally use someone else's toothbrush. Adults usually recognize their own toothbrushes and rarely make such a mistake, but children sometimes need to have a special shape or design in order to remember which toothbrush is theirs. Swapping toothbrushes means swapping germs, which can cause illness.
Never boil your toothbrush, or put it in the microwave or dishwasher, as the toothbrush could get damaged. for more information, contact a dentist at http://www.abigailrollinsdmd.com.