Your toothbrush keeps your teeth clean… but do you keep your toothbrush clean? Without proper maintenance, your toothbrush could easily accumulate nasty bacteria — and the last thing you want to do is rub those bacteria all over your teeth! A dentist in State College is here to provide some useful and simple tips on how to clean your toothbrush.
Rinse It Under Hot Water
It’s a smart practice to run your brush under hot water before and after each use. This rinses away bacteria that have accumulated on it since the last time you used it, and it sweeps away fresh debris that might have collected on it during the brushing process. Keep in mind that hot water from the tap is acceptable for this; there is no need to use boiling water because doing so could actually cause your toothbrush to warp.
Make Sure It Gets Lots of Air
On the surface, it might seem like a good idea to keep your toothbrush head-down in a cup or in a toothbrush case, but placing it in a tight, enclosed space can actually encourage bacteria and mold growth. It’s much better to keep your brush somewhere with a lot of air around it. This makes sure it can dry properly between uses.
Never Share Your Toothbrush
Have you ever been tempted to use your spouse’s or child’s toothbrush in an emergency? It’s definitely best not to do so. Every individual’s mouth has a unique combination of bacteria that is important for oral health, but introducing bacteria from someone else’s mouth may lead to illness. If you ever find yourself suddenly without your own toothbrush, drinking some water and munching on celery or an apple can help to clean your mouth.
Soak It in Mouthwash
If you are in the mood to deep-clean your toothbrush, you can place it head-down in a cup of antibacterial mouthwash. Let it soak for about two minutes after you finish using it. Keep in mind, though, that this method can make your toothbrush wear out faster because many mouthwashes have harsh ingredients that can break down your brush’s bristles.
Replace It at the Right Time
On average, toothbrushes last about three months before they need to be replaced. However, you might have to replace it sooner if you used it while you were sick, you accidentally drop it somewhere with a lot of bacteria (like the floor or toilet), or you notice that the bristles are frayed.
You don’t need any fancy gadgets to make sure your toothbrush stays fresh and usable. The tips mentioned in this article should be more than adequate.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Chris Devlin is a State College Dentist with decades of experience. He is passionate about education — both for himself and his patients. If you have questions about how to clean your toothbrush or anything else related to oral health or hygiene, he and our team would be pleased to speak with you. Contact us at 814-238-3553.