As you care for your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing daily, you will also want to take good care of your toothbrush. You can throw away used dental floss and spit out your mouth rinse, but you want to preserve your toothbrush which can last up to three or four months with proper care. Following are some tips the American Dental Association recommends for toothbrush care.
— Don’t let anyone share your toothbrush. Only one user per toothbrush! Sharing toothbrushes allows body fluids and oral bacteria to be exchanged, which can cross contaminate if one of you is sick– particularly if one of you has a compromised immune system.
— Allow your toothbrush bristles to breathe. Only use toothbrush covers if you are traveling, because they trap moisture and make them a breeding ground for bacteria. Your toothbrush should air dry after use to limit bacterial growth.
— After rinsing your toothbrush with warm water to remove oral debris including toothpaste residue, oral bacteria, saliva, and blood that could transfer to your toothbrush, place it upright in a cup or holder, making sure the bristles don’t touch other surfaces (including another toothbrush). Air should freely circulate around the bristles to allow them to dry.
— Because bristles fray and splay with use, check them often to make sure they keep their shape so that they can clean effectively. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months otherwise.
— Microwaves and dishwashers are not recommended for sanitizing your toothbrush. Manufacturers of these appliances did not design them to be safe for toothbrush bristles, which can be damaged and therefore fail to clean properly.
— You can sanitize your toothbrush weekly by soak it in an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce bacterial growth.
And there you have it. These simple steps can keep your toothbrush strong and your pearly whites clean and healthy. If you have questions or concerns, we invite you to reach out to our Tier One Dental staff at 830-372-2852 today!