Toothbrush Care: Cleaning, Storage and Replacement
The importance of good personal oral hygiene cannot be emphasized enough. This includes brushing twice a day for two minutes, not to mention flossing daily, and the great benefits of using a tongue scraper.
This makes taking care of these tools such as your toothbrush, extremely vital. To make sure that we get the most out of our toothbrushes, and maintain their effectiveness, maintenance is essential.
The mouth carries various types of bacteria and these shift onto the toothbrushes while it is being used. Additionally, toothbrushes can also gather the bacteria that is found in the air surrounding the atmosphere from where they are stored.
Below are recommendations to follow in order to get the best out of your toothbrushes. This will aid in keeping them clean and effective.
- Every three to four months, you should replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head. It may even need to be replaced sooner if the bristles become frayed, visibly matted and worn out from use.
- For any parents out there, make sure to check your children’s toothbrushes for frays and wears. The toothbrushes of children often need replacing more frequently than adults.
- Never share your toothbrush! Sharing a toothbrush with another person could result in an exchange of body fluids and microorganisms between you and the other person
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water after use. When you soak your toothbrush with water, it will help to remove remaining toothpaste and other debris. Using hot water may help with this.
- If you share the same toothbrush holder with others, do not allow your toothbrushes to be in contact with each other. This is significant to avoid risks of cross-contamination.
- The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends keeping toothbrushes in an upright position after using them to let them dry in open air. It is commonly found that individuals cover their toothbrush or have it stored in a closed container. This leads to the moist environment being more susceptible to bacterial growth than the open air.
Some people may have different techniques to clean their toothbrushes, however, be aware that some methods could even fray the bristles of the toothbrush. Some cleaning methods such as dishwasher or microwave use could damage your toothbrush. This is not recommended as a way to clean your toothbrush as it may not be designed to withstand such cleaning conditions, consequently reducing the effectiveness of your toothbrush due to the exposure of high heat.
With these dental hygiene tips in mind, we are all armed and ready to make the most out of our dental routines. Remember if you come across any doubts, whether it is regarding how to clean your toothbrush or general oral hygiene, it is always best to discuss with a professional dentist who can provide the best guidance. Happy brushing!