How to Properly Care for your Toothbrush
When you go to the dentist you often are taught how to brush and floss your teeth as well as how often. What you don’t hear as much is how to take care of your toothbrush so that it can do its job, protecting your teeth. Here are some things you can do to keep your toothbrush clean and ready to tackle its job.
Don’t use too much pressure when brushing.
Brushing your teeth with a lot of pressure is not just bad for your teeth. (This can damage the enamel that is meant to protect your teeth and provide a way for bacteria to eat at your teeth.) It can be bad for your toothbrush as well. When you put a lot of pressure on your toothbrush, it causes the bristles to bend and become misshapen. Your toothbrush is less effective when the bristles get out of shape.
Place your brush under running tap water after brushing.
You need to rinse off any extra toothpaste and bacteria that got on your toothbrush off of it before you put it away. This keeps the bacteria from growing and re-entering your mouth the next time you brush. You may have heard of a fancy sanitizer for cleaning toothbrushes or other remedies, but these are unnecessary and some are even harmful. A rinse under the tap is all your toothbrush needs.
Air dry in an upright position.
Moist objects are breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. You want your toothbrush to air dry to get rid of any bacteria that are killed by the air. Keeping it upright will help it to drain and dry more quickly. Always make sure to air dry your toothbrush before packing it for a vacation.
Store in an upright position in the open.
You should not store your toothbrush in a small place where it might not dry properly. You can store it in a toothbrush holder that sits on the counter or one that attaches to your bathroom mirror. You also should not have them in the air right above the toilet. When the toilet flushes it emits bacteria into the air that could get on your toothbrush if they are stored too close to it.
Replace every three to four months
It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. This prevents excessive bacteria buildup on your toothbrush. At this point your toothbrush may also be wearing down and worn out bristles can damage your teeth. Most dentist offices will give you a new toothbrush when you have your routine cleanings every six months.
Be sure to take good care of your toothbrush so that it can continue to take good care of you. Your teeth will thank you for it.
If you would like to schedule an appointment at Family Dental Health Center, give us a call at (208) 529-0120