You think twice before putting an extra helping of gravy on your plate. You think twice before having dessert multiple times a week. You think twice before putting your fingers in your mouth after you have worked outside all day. Well, why are you not thinking twice before putting your toothbrush in your mouth?
Your toothbrush is a tool that was specifically designed to clean your teeth by brushing away food particles and bacteria that are present in the mouth. Your toothbrush should be replaced on a regular basis. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three to six months. Ever wondered why you always receive a new toothbrush at your dental checkups? That’s why – your dentist wants to make sure you have a new, fresh toothbrush to replace the one you have been using. However, during the time when you are using a toothbrush regularly, there are specific things you can do to keep it as clean as possible until you replace it.
- Rinse your toothbrush. It is important that you take the time to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use. Rinse it under fast running water so that your toothbrush can be cleaned of any remaining toothpaste or food debris.
- Store your toothbrush upright. It is necessary for your toothbrush to dry completely after each use. Storing your toothbrush in an upright position, allowing it to air dry, will help to kill any bacteria that linger on the toothbrush.
- Keep toothbrushes separated. If more than one toothbrush is stored in the same holder, make sure that the brush heads are not touching. This decreases the chance of cross-contamination of germs, bacteria, and infection.
- Keep your toothbrush uncovered. While it is common to use a toothbrush cover while traveling, your toothbrush should remain uncovered otherwise. A moist environment is conducive to the growth of bacteria, such as inside a toothbrush cover over a damp toothbrush.
Following these simple steps to care for your toothbrush is very important. You are reliant upon your toothbrush to clean your teeth between dental visits, so make sure that your toothbrush is clean when you use it!