Taking Care of Your Toothbrush: What You Need to Know

Brushing your teeth two times a day should be a habit. For most adults, it is a habit that we give little thought to. We wake up, brush our teeth. We get ready for bed and brush our teeth. While we rely on our toothbrush, we usually do not think of it very much. However, a toothbrush requires care in order to provide the best oral health for the body. When a toothbrush is not cared for properly, it can lead to issues with the teeth and gums, even lead to bad breath.

The oral cavity is a home of sorts for microorganisms. These organisms can transfer to the toothbrush and then cause issues such as bacteria growth, tooth decay and more. Learning how to take care of your toothbrush will ensure that your teeth and gums stay in the best health.

Tips for Keeping Your Toothbrush in Good Condition:

  1. Never Share. Avoid using someone else’s toothbrush or letting someone else use yours. This can lead to body fluids and microorganisms shared between two people. This creates a risk of infection and harms someone who has a weakened immune system.
  2. Rinse Toothbrush Thoroughly. Be sure to rinse your toothbrush with tap water after you brush. This will remove any debris and leftover toothpaste. Store the toothbrush upright so it can air dry. Keep any other brushes stored separately to avoid any cross-contamination.
  3. Avoid Closed Container Storage. If you store your toothbrush in a closed container, it can lead to the creation of moisture. This creates an environment for microorganism growth. Open air helps to kill any bacteria that may exist.
  4. Replace Old Toothbrushes. Toothbrushes need to be replaced on a regular basis. A new toothbrush should be purchased every three to four months. As the bristles become frayed, they become less effective in cleaning teeth. Toothbrush wear will depend on the individual. Check your toothbrush regularly as well as others in the home to replace them as needed.

It is recommended that toothbrushes be approved by the American Dental Association. The ADA will provide a Seal of Acceptance which provides approval for a dental product. With this seal of approval, you can be sure the toothbrush will function as needed for proper dental health.

It is also important to note that while no evidence exists that show bacteria found on toothbrushes can create disease, individual with a weak immune system or a low tolerance to infection can be at risk when using someone else’s toothbrush or a compromised brush. For individuals with weakened immune systems, replace toothbrushes more often and rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouth rinse before you brush your teeth.

Talk to your dentist about how you can care for your toothbrush to promote good oral health. Ask your dentist for advice regarding toothbrush care. By learning more, you can ensure your teeth stay clean and healthy, providing you with excellent overall health for years to come. Contact our Cadot dental office today to learn more about proper toothbrush care or to schedule an appointment.