If you are like most adults, you established your tooth brushing habits when you were a child, and you are likely still following them now. Proper oral hygiene includes brushing two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. But that’s not all. If your teeth cleaning routine doesn’t also include steps to care for your toothbrush, you are doing it all wrong. In fact, you could be sabotaging your five-star brushing habits if you are not taking care of your toothbrush correctly.
Your toothbrush is your primary weapon against gum disease, cavities and gum disease. Just like other frequently used tools in your house, you need to do your part to keep it in good condition. Your toothbrush is not self-cleaning, so what are you doing to make sure that its bristles you put in your mouth twice a day are not full of old bacteria and food debris from the last time you used it?
How Are Your Storing Your Toothbrush?
It is extremely important to consider what you do with your toothbrush after it leaves your mouth. The primary purpose in brushing your teeth is to eliminate cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth Therefore, your toothbrush needs to be free of bacteria, which means taking steps to ensure the moist bristles don’t become a breeding ground for bacteria.
After you’ve finished cleaning your teeth, rinse your toothbrush with water and shake it vigorously to help it dry. Next, store your toothbrush in an upright position to air dry. One of the worst things you can do is to place a storage cap over your toothbrush between brushing, as bacteria loves dark moisture. In addition, you should keep your toothbrush at least six feet away from a toilet to prevent potential contact with airborne particle and germs!
How Often Are You Replacing Your Toothbrush?
Besides storing your toothbrush properly, it is also essential that you replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if you notice signs of the bristles fraying. It may also be a good idea to get a new toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Using an old or worn out toothbrush to brush your teeth is like trying to cut your grass with a dull-bladed lawn mower. Regardless of level of effort, if your toothbrush is in poor condition, your efforts may be in vain.
At Family Smiles Dental, we love helping patients take care of their smile, as well as the tools that help them care for their smile. For more tips on proper toothbrush care at home, please call our dental team.
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