Your toothbrush spends a lot of time in your mouth, so you need to make sure it’s cleaned and stored properly. You also need to know when to swap it out for a new one! The team at Russell Street Dental Associates encourages you to learn the do’s and don’ts of toothbrush care to keep your smile healthy.
Rinse your toothbrush with tap water when you’re finished with it. Leftover toothpaste residue can still have plaque stuck to it, and no one wants to brush their teeth with a dirty brush. Rinsing it thoroughly will clear away everything you just removed from your teeth.
Store your toothbrush upright in an open place so it can air dry. You want the excess water to dry off so you don’t get mildew or bacteria growth on it. Some bacteria thrive in small spaces, and others die when exposed to air, so you never want to leave your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet or a closed container when it’s wet.
Replace it every 3-4 months, or at the latest, every six months when you see your dentist for your regular cleaning. If there are bristles fraying, bending, or coming off, replace the toothbrush when that happens.
Don’t share toothbrushes, no matter how much you love your spouse. Oral bacteria from one person’s mouth can transfer to the other person, which could make them sick.
Don’t sanitize the toothbrush in mouthwash or any other kind of sanitizing agent like hand sanitizer. This is unnecessary and may even be poisonous to you. Simply allowing the toothbrush to air dry is enough to kill bacteria that die when exposed to air.
Don’t store your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet or any kind of closed container. Bacteria love dark, moist places, so keeping your toothbrush out in the open will keep them from growing.
That being said, don’t store your toothbrush too close to the toilet. Germs do go airborne after flushing and stick to the toothbrush, so try to store it as far away from the toilet as possible where it can still air dry.
Simply rinsing the toothbrush after use and storing it upright to air dry is all you need to keep your toothbrush clean. Replace them regularly and keep up visits to your dentist and your smile will stay clean and healthy for the long haul.