Your toothbrush is in your mouth for about 4 minutes every day, so you’ll want to make sure it’s clean and stored properly, and know when to replace it. Dr. Richard Van Gurp of Charlotte, NC encourages you to take a look at the do’s and don’ts of how to care for your toothbrush so you can keep your smile healthy.
Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after use. Leaving toothpaste residue on your brush means that it won’t be clean for the next time. The rinse will clear away the plaque and bacteria that was just cleaned from your teeth.
Store your brush upright and open to allow it to air dry. This allows the excess water after brushing to dry so you won’t have any mildew or bacteria growing on your toothbrush. Some bacteria die when exposed to air, so letting the brush air dry is crucial.
Replace the toothbrush every 3-4 months, or at the absolute latest, every six months when you see your dentist for a regular cleaning. If you notice bristles coming off, bending, or fraying, it is time to replace the brush.
Don’t share toothbrushes. Sharing toothbrushes allows for the transfer of bacteria to others, risking not only your oral health, but the other person’s as well.
Don’t sanitize the toothbrush in mouthwash or other sanitizing agents. This is unnecessary and may even be toxic to you. Allowing the brush to air dry is enough to kill bacteria that die when exposed to air.
Don’t store it in a closed container. While you may have heard that toothbrushes can be exposed to bacteria from the toilet, you should not store them in closed containers either. This would allow bacteria to flourish in moisture and a closed environment, which would be harmful to your mouth.
That being said, don’t store your toothbrush too close to the toilet. Germs can indeed go airborne after flushing and stick to the toothbrush. Try to store it far away from the toilet where it’s still able to air dry.
Toothbrushes don’t require any special cleaning in order to keep them sanitary. Simply rinsing them after use and allowing them to dry out in the air is enough to help you keep your smile clean and healthy – just make sure you replace them regularly.
If you are in the Charlotte, NC area and need a professional dental cleaning call the offices of Dr. Van Gurp at (704) 209-9606 or schedule online.