Each time you go to the dentist you receive a new toothbrush, right? Have you ever considered the reason behind this? Is it mere generosity, or is it something more?
The reason you receive a new toothbrush after each dental appointment is because your dentist understands the importance of using a clean toothbrush. If you stop and think about it for just a brief moment, you will probably understand immediately why putting a clean toothbrush in your mouth is so important. You use your toothbrush as a tool to clean your teeth, yes? Well, if you are putting a dirty, old toothbrush into your mouth it is not going to be very effective – and, in fact, it can actually cause health issues to occur. Below are easy steps for caring for your toothbrush so that you are getting the most benefit out of brushing your teeth.
- Rinse your toothbrush well.
- As you use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, you are brushing away plaque and food particles from the teeth. Plaque is laden with bacteria that will continue to grow if they are not thoroughly rinsed off the toothbrush after each use. Leftover food particles will begin to decay on the toothbrush, making your toothbrush a dirty object that has no business being placed back inside your mouth. Rinsing your toothbrush under fast, running water after each use will help to clean it off from what you have removed from your mouth.
- Store your toothbrush upright and let it air dry.
- As mentioned before, there are bacteria that will exit your mouth with your toothbrush. Bacteria thrive in moist environments, and if your toothbrush remains damp for an extended period of time the bacteria will continue to multiply. Allowing your toothbrush to air dry will help lingering bacteria die quickly. Storing it upright and uncovered allows for the fastest drying time.
- Never share your toothbrush.
- With anyone – not even your family members. Remember, you bacteria removes bacteria; therefore, sharing your toothbrush just puts someone else’s bacteria into your mouth.
- Keep your toothbrush away from the toilet.
- Not all bathrooms are equipped with a door that separates the toilet from the rest of the bathroom. If you do not have a separating door, make sure you keep your toothbrush as far away as possible from the toilet. Any time you flush the toilet there will be overspray that will land on anything in its path. You do not want that to be your toothbrush!
- Replace your toothbrush often.
- Your dentist gives you a new toothbrush for a reason – so that you have a clean tool for brushing your teeth. It is important to replace your toothbrush ever 3-6 months.
- Replace your toothbrush after illness.
- Germs can linger for days. If you have been sick with a cold, the flu, strep throat, stomach bug, or any other illness it is imperative that you replace your toothbrush to avoid getting sick again.
At Riverheart Family Dentistry, we want to promote optimal oral health. Call us today to schedule an appointment. We will have a new toothbrush waiting for you!