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We know you probably spend a good amount of time caring for your teeth, but what about maintaining your toothbrush? The toothbrush is arguably the most important component of any dental hygiene routine. As such, it needs to be properly taken care of. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your toothbrush stays clean and lasts as long as possible.
Rinse your toothbrush after each use. This is a simple step that almost everyone covers when they’re learning to brush their teeth, but it’s still important enough to mention here. Rinsing your toothbrush with warm water and gently rubbing the bristles with clean hands after each use
will get rid of any remaining food particles, toothpaste, saliva, and bacteria. If you thoroughly rinse your toothbrush each time you use it, it’ll stay cleaner and last longer overall.
Allow your toothbrush to dry completely between uses. Bacteria and germs thrive under wet conditions, so it’s important that you make sure your toothbrush has time to dry completely between uses. If you don’t, you run the risk of introducing bacteria into your mouth via your toothbrush, which could lead to dental problems and potential sickness.
Store your toothbrush upright. If you keep your toothbrush stored upright in a clean place, it’ll have time to dry out between uses. Like we mentioned before, this is important because it ensures that your toothbrush won’t become a breeding ground for germs. Plus, storing your toothbrush upright guarantees the bristles won’t be left soaking in water, which could potentially lead to bacteria growth and a breakdown of the bristles. As long as you’re storing your toothbrush properly, it should stay clean and last for several months.
Deep clean your toothbrush as needed. Rinsing your toothbrush and letting it dry between uses should be enough to keep it clean, but sometimes you might need a little extra cleaning power. There are several ways you can accomplish this.
One of the easiest ways to deep clean your toothbrush is by holding the brush head in boiling water for two or three minutes. You can also soak the brush head in a little bit of antibacterial mouthwash before using it if you need that extra reassurance that your toothbrush is truly clean. Alternatively, you could invest in an in-home UV sanitizer to keep your toothbrush clean.
Don’t share your toothbrush. This tip is probably not new to you, but we still think it’s worth bringing up. You should never share your toothbrush with anyone, even close family members. If you do, you run the risk of exposing yourself to a world of bacteria and germs. Plus, it’s just kind of gross overall if you think about it. Stay safe and stick to using your own toothbrush.
Cover your toothbrush when you travel. You can use a toothbrush cover or case to keep your toothbrush safe and clean from the airport to the hotel and everywhere in between. This is especially important when you’re traveling since the potential for exposure to germs is elevated.
When is it time for a new toothbrush? It’s pretty safe to assume you need to make the swap to a new toothbrush when your current one starts showing signs of wear like fading on the handle or frayed bristles. Those old bristles aren’t doing you much good anyway since they’ve lost most of their tooth-scrubbing power, so it’s best to go ahead and switch to a new toothbrush. If you want to be extra cautious, you might also want to consider switching to a new toothbrush after being sick.
As long as you’re regularly changing your toothbrush out every three or four months, you should be good to go. Kids’ toothbrushes might need to be changed out more frequently, so just keep an eye on the bristles.
Looking for even more tips on oral hygiene? Need a new toothbrush? Give us a call at (334) 279-0760 or stop by the office today! We’d love to hear from you.
Dr. Amy Morrison Anderson joined our practice in July 2005. She is a lifelong resident of Montgomery, and a graduate of Jefferson Davis High School, Auburn University, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Dentistry.
She is a member of the American Dental Association, the Alabama Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.
Dr. Anderson most enjoys doing veneers. “The reward of seeing my patients’ self-confidence and self-esteem boosted by a beautiful smile is immeasurable.”
Brandon, her husband, is also a graduate of Jefferson Davis High School and Auburn University. They have one daughter, Bailey Elizabeth, and twin sons, Caden and Cole.
“I have been extremely happy with the services rendered by Montgomery Dentistry. The assisting staff is efficient and friendly. The dentists are talented and friendly as well. I would (and have) recommend(ed) these folks to anyone needing dental work.”
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