Ways to maintain your toothbrush
A visit to the dentist is always a reminder of how important it is to keep our teeth and gums healthy. We think about brushing our teeth several times a day, flossing after meals and using a mouthwash if necessary. But how often do we think about the toothbrush we use to keep our teeth brushed and buffed?
Not enough, according to WebMD.
Viruses and bacteria from an infected person’s mouth can live for weeks on a toothbrush, continuing to cause illness. Even normal, healthy microorganisms can cause infections, especially if they enter your gum tissue due to an injury, a break, or an oral ulcer.
Here are a few things to consider to keep your toothbrush safe and sanitary:
- Give your toothbrush a thorough rinse with tap water to remove debris. If you have been sick recently or live with a chronic illness you may even want to consider running your toothbrush through a dishwasher.
- Store your toothbrush upright in a rack or cup where it can dry out. A lack of air can promote bacteria, so avoid placing a wet toothbrush into a drawer or medicine cabinet.
- Replace your toothbrush about every 3 to 4 months, or when it shows signs of wear and throw away a brush you or anyone in your home used while sick. These rules also apply to the brush attachment from electric or power toothbrushes.
And remember never to share your toothbrush. Toothbrush sharing can transfer saliva and bacteria — even the kind that cause tooth decay.