When is the last time you switched out your toothbrush? How often do you rinse your brush thoroughly with tap water? Do you store your oral cleaning instrument in a case, or in a cabinet? Many people perceive the toothbrush as being an instrument to remove plaque from the teeth and gums, but what they don’t understand is that your bristles may be a home to bacteria. The care and storage of your brush could mean the difference between ridding yourself of harmful bacteria and facilitating its continual growth. Practicing general dentistry, Dr. Shrewsbury discusses the importance of caring for your bristles the correct way.
Some Simple Suggestions
The following points are a few suggestions for toothbrush care and bacteria and fungus prevention:
- Do not share your toothbrush with anyone else. Some of the bacteria flourishing in your bristles may be from your own mouth, and the cross contamination of another’s saliva and bacteria could mean your at risk for enabling the development of more bacteria.
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after use. Often, small food particles remain in the bristles, but you may not see them.
- Soak your toothbrush in disinfecting solutions. However, it remains vital for this practice to be effective to change the solution each time you use your brush. Allowing you brush to soak in the same disinfectant could produce the reverse effects.
- Allow your toothbrush to “air dry”, meaning store your brush upright and in the open. Placing toothbrushes while still damp in a dark case or cabinet excites the bacteria potentially present. Bacteria thrive in dark, damp environments like a case, cabinet, or your mouth.
- You should replace your toothbrush at least every three-to-four months, or once the bristles begin to fray. Your brush decreases in effectiveness if the bristles are compromised.
- If you use a toothbrush while sick, make sure and replace that toothbrush as soon as you overcome the illness. The virus or bacteria may remain on your brush, even though you are not sick anymore.
About Dr. Shrewsbury
At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.