Are You Taking Care of Your Toothbrush?
To help maintain your overall health and sparkling smile, brushing your teeth at least twice a day is non-negotiable. A good toothbrush will do the job well, and sustain some wear, so have you been taking good care your toothbrush? What is your toothbrush shape? Has it flattened or frayed? Is your toothbrush clean? Do you allow the bristles to air dry, or do you cover it wet?
Keep your toothbrush clean: It may sound strange, but just because you use it to clean your teeth, and rinse it regularly in water, doesn’t mean your toothbrush is sanitary. Thoroughly rinse your brush after each use to remove leftover debris and make sure all the toothpaste is removed. Make it a habit of disinfecting your brush by putting it through an occasional dishwasher cycle. When you pack a toothbrush for travel, place a ventilated cover over the head. A closed cover will allow bacteria to form and flourish.
Store your toothbrush dry: Another toothbrush tip that is just as important as keeping it clean is to allow the bristles to air dry thoroughly. It is okay to disinfect it with a mouth rinse, in a dishwasher or with any other toothbrush sanitizer, but only for short periods. If the brush sits in moisture, this is an optimal environment for mold and bacteria to grow. Damaging your brush in this way will make brushing your teeth counterproductive. Always keep your brush stored upright and away from any other toothbrushes.
Use proper technique: How carefully you brush your teeth is equally as important as the way you care for your toothbrush. Be gentle, and use short strokes to maintain toothbrush shape and avoid fraying the bristles. Do not bite or chew on the brush bristles.
Replace your brush regularly: Even those toothbrushes that receive the most loving care all have a shelf life. Eventually, they all need to be replaced. It is recommended that patients replace their toothbrush about every 3 to 4 months, and sooner for individuals with immune system disorders, or if there has been a lot of sickness in the home.