If you’re like most people, you probably brush your teeth with the objective of limiting the presence of potentially harmful oral bacteria. But did you recognize that the very tool you use for that purpose – your toothbrush – could actually be introducing more bacteria (oral and otherwise!) into your mouth? Here are some tips from our family dentist to help keep your smile as clean and healthy as possible.
- Clean your brush thoroughly after use: Be sure to rinse any remaining toothpaste and other particles from your brush after each and every use. As an extra precaution, you can also soak your toothbrush in an anti-bacterial mouthwash.
- Store your toothbrush safely: The toothbrush should always be stowed away in an upright position with the ability to air dry. Avoid storing your brush in a closed container where bacteria can easily multiply.
- Replace your toothbrush frequently: Your family dentist will recommend that you change your toothbrush at least every three to four months or even earlier if you notice signs of wear, such as frayed bristles. You should also replace your toothbrush if you’ve had a contagious illness that is transmitted via bodily fluids to eliminate the presence of the virus or bacteria that caused the condition.
- Use your own toothbrush: Sharing toothbrushes means sharing the bacteria on those toothbrushes, and this is not an uncommon practice, even if people don’t regularly report it to their family dentist.
- Wash your hands after using the toilet as well as before brushing your teeth: The cornerstone of basic good hygiene is washing hands thoroughly, and this practice will help to minimize the presence of bacteria on your toothbrush as well.
In addition to maintaining a clean toothbrush and using it twice each day, you should also prioritize semi-annual exams and cleanings, which are additional weapons in your war against oral bacteria.
Would you like more tips on how to make sure your toothbrush isn’t a vehicle for bacteria transmission? Call our team at Fresh Leaf Dental and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members.