Germs, germs everywhere! Germs are an unavoidable part of life, whether it’s from what we touch throughout the day, to what the kids bring home from school, or the coworker who coughs all day right next to you. During this time of year, primetime for colds and flu, there’s one place that should be as germ free as possible — your toothbrush. It might seem basic, but starting off the new year with a fresh toothbrush may actually improve your health! The Sacramento Dentistry Group has a few tips for keeping your toothbrush as clean and germ free as possible.
Clean Toothbrush Tips
Do we even need to say it? Never share your toothbrush, no matter how close you are to the person you might be tempted to share with. Everyone in the family should have their own brush to avoid the exchange of viruses and bacteria. Microorganisms and body fluids on your toothbrush are uniquely your own and just aren’t meant to be shared. Doing so can cause illness and infections.
Clean hands means a cleaner toothbrush. Keeping your hands clean by washing them frequently throughout the day controls the amount of germs contacted by your toothbrush and your mouth. Therefore, our Sacramento dental office recommends washing your hands before brushing your teeth for the best protection against germs.
Rinse the toothbrush thoroughly. Take a few seconds to rinse off your brush before putting it away. A rinsed brush contains fewer food particles and old toothpaste buildup and therefore has less bacteria on it. If food particles are left on your toothbrush, they become the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of bacterial surprises.
A dry toothbrush is a clean toothbrush. After rinsing it, store it upright so it has a chance to dry out between uses. Allowing your toothbrush to “breathe” helps prevent oral bacteria from breeding on your brush and from being redeposited in your mouth the next time you use it.
UV toothbrush sanitizers do reduce the bacteria on your toothbrush, but the cost and batteries required may not provide that much extra advantage. It certainly can’t hurt to use one, but these sanitizers often require cleaning from the dampness of the toothbrush and many find that they end up prefering air drying.
Last but not least, replace your brush every three months or more often, as needed. “As needed” means it’s wise to replace your brush after recovering from a cold or flu, if you drop it in the toilet bowl or if someone else accidentally used it. You should definitely replace your toothbrush when the bristles become frayed. A worn out toothbrush doesn’t effectively clean your teeth and increases the chances of plaque buildup and gum disease.
Our Sacramento dentists also want to remind our patients to not miss miss any dental appointments. A healthy mouth means a healthy body, so keep your toothbrush clean, floss daily and we look forward to seeing you for your exams in 2017!