WE ALL USE TOOTHBRUSHES to take care of our teeth, but what are we doing to take care of our toothbrushes? It’s critical that our toothbrushes remain in good condition so they can do their jobs of keeping our teeth healthy! Here are a few good toothbrush rules.
Cleaning Your Toothbrush
If you have had a recent cold or flu, and want your toothbrush extra clean there are a few things that you can do. Soaking your tooth brush in antibacterial mouthwash would be an easy and cost effective first option. Soaking it in a small cup of hydrogen peroxide would also be effective. Some people like to boil their toothbrush. This can be done for 3 minutes. However, it will shorten the life of your toothbrush. A UV toothbrush sanitizer is effective. However, studies have shown that a soak in Listerine is just as effective, and far less costly. If you have had a recent mouth infection, once it is over it is usually a good idea to just throw the toothbrush out and get a new one.
If you have not had a recent cold or infection, rinsing your toothbrush under hot water is usually enough of a cleaning for it. Make sure that you clean out all of the toothpaste and let it air dry in an open upright position. Your toothbrush does not need to be completely sterile. The presence of some bacteria in your mouth, and on your tooth brush, is normal. In its recommendations about toothbrush care, the American Dental Association (ADA) cites studies that have found no evidence of negative oral health effects from normal bacteria on a toothbrush.
Storing Your Toothbrush
Store your toothbrush in a holder in the open air. That will help it to dry out quickly. Storage in a dirty cup, drawer, or travel case can promote the growth of mold or bacteria that are not natural to your mouth. It’s also a good idea to keep it well away from your toilet, as an aerosol can form when flushing.
Replacing Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush bristles should look clean and straight. When you see fraying, matting, or discoloration of the bristles, it is time to change toothbrushes. A toothbrush usually will not last beyond three to four months. Using one after that can cause it to become ineffective and can also cause damage to your gums. A good rule would be, if in doubt throw it out.
Never Share a Toothbrush
Your mouth needs a healthy flora of its own unique bacteria. It is never a good idea to share a toothbrush. A toothbrush should not even be shared with your children. They are acquiring their own normal flora. In the worst of cases, toothbrush sharing can spread disease.
Get Creative With Your Old Toothbrush
Old toothbrushes are excellent for cleaning orthodontic retainers and aligners. When you are done using them for this, they can be great tools for cleaning hard-to-reach areas in your house like tile, grout, and backsplashes. Toothbrushes also make great paintbrushes. Just watch the video below.
To make your toothbrush art minty fresh, use toothpaste as your paint!
Need Toothbrush Recommendations?
We always recommend using only a soft bristle toothbrush. If you are using a medium or hard bristle brush, stop. There is no advantage to using a harder bristle brush and they can damage your teeth and gums. If you are looking for an electric toothbrush, just ask us and we’ll give you a recommendation!
Thank you for your trust and friendship!
If you would like a complimentary orthodontic consultation with Dr. Robert Kazmierski to learn more about caring for your teeth please click here or call us at (856)727-0177 to schedule an appointment.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions