Let’s think about this – you wash your hands before you eat and after you have been in the bathroom, right? Why? You wash your hands to get rid of germs and dirt that is on your hands before putting them in your mouth. If you should wash your hands before putting them in or near your mouth, should you not take the same care before putting your toothbrush in your mouth…twice a day? Proper toothbrush care is very important to good oral health.
Your toothbrush is a tool that is used to clean your teeth, gums, and tongue. However, it cannot do a very good job of cleaning if it is not properly taken care of! Think about what your toothbrush is doing in your mouth – it is cleaning your mouth from left over food particles and bacteria-laden plaque. Yuck! Not taking the time to care for your toothbrush means that you are putting a dirty bacteria-laden object back into your mouth, day after day.
Here are simple steps to follow in order to help you achieve proper toothbrush care so that it keeps you and your mouth healthy:
- Dry your toothbrush between uses. Toothbrushes are a breeding ground for germs, fungus, and bacteria when they are allowed to remain moist. After you use your toothbrush, rinse it under running water and then shake it vigorously. You can even tap it on a towel to remove excess water. Finally, store it in an upright position so that it can air out throughout the day.
- Replace your toothbrush (or brush head) every three to six months. There’s a reason you always get a new toothbrush at your dental visits – because your dentist knows that you need to replace your toothbrush regularly. Remember what toothbrushes do (remove bacteria), and know that even rinsing and drying your toothbrush can only do so much. It is also important to change out your toothbrush after a cold, the flu, strep throat, or a mouth sore or infection. Germs from these illnesses can linger on your toothbrush and lead to reinfection.
- While traveling, you should use a toothbrush case or bristle cover to protect your toothbrush from touching other objects and to protect the bristles from becoming flattened or squashed – making them ineffective for properly cleaning your teeth.
At Hello Family Dental in Suwanee, we want all of our patients’ mouths to be kept as clean as possible. Simple steps for proper toothbrush care can make a big difference. And if you are in need of a new toothbrush, don’t forget to make a dental cleaning appointment – we will have a new toothbrush ready for you!