October 9, 2023
Toothbrush Care And Replacement – And Why It Is Important
Caring for your toothbrush is very important for your dental health and your overall health. The environment that you have your toothbrush in determines the cleanliness of your toothbrush. The ADA recommends that you do not share your toothbrush; this can result in the sharing of unwanted bacteria putting you at risk of infection. They also recommend that you rinse your toothbrush well, make sure there is no toothpaste or debris left between the bristles, as this can cause a breading ground for bacteria and other germs. They also recommend that you do not cover or store your toothbrushes in closed containers for extended periods of time. Covering or storing your toothbrush in a closed container creates a wet environment that is ideal for bacteria to grow. Store your toothbrush upright in open air so the bristles can dry out quickly, and make sure after you use it that you shake it vigorously to remove excess water. Many people us a toothbrush holder, which is great because it keeps your toothbrush out in the open and in an upright position. However, if you are storing multiple toothbrushes in the same toothbrush holder, maker sure they are not touching, this will help prevent the sharing of bacteria or other germs. Some people will soak their toothbrushes in an antibacterial mouth rinse; however, according to the ADA there is no evidence that it will have a positive or a negative effect.
Most people know that at some point you need to replace your toothbrush, but some may not know how often this should be done. The American Dental Association recommends that toothbrushes be replaced every 3-4 months. This is recommended because the bristles can be come frayed and worn, this result in the cleaning to be less effective, which is not good if you want to maintain a healthy smile. Your children’s toothbrushes typically need to be replaced more often. Some people may need to replace their toothbrushes more frequently than every 3-4 months, especially if you are a more vigorous brusher. This is why it is good to inspect your toothbrush to make sure the bristles are not frayed. While it is important to switch to a new toothbrush, if you have a cold or flu or any other contagious infection it is important to open a new toothbrush as your old one will hang on to those germs.
Caring for your toothbrush and knowing when to replace your toothbrush is not only important for your oral health but it is important for your overall health. As cold and flu season quickly approach, remember that if you or your children get the cold or flu to get a new toothbrush to prevent continued exposure to those viruses. If you want more information on the care of your toothbrush or the importance of replacing your toothbrush regularly, please visit the links listed below, or speak with Dr. Baker or his staff and they will be happy to give you information.