You use your toothbrush day in and day out. You replace it every three months, but are you really doing enough to take care of this essential hygiene item?
As a result of twice daily exposure to bacteria in your mouth, your toothbrush requires some attentive care. Keeping your toothbrush in good condition can help you avoid exposure to harmful microorganisms and damage to your oral health.
Following these guidelines can help you stay healthy:
Replace Your Toothbrush
We have heard about replacing toothbrushes every three months for so long that it sounds like a tired mantra. While three months is a decent time limit, there are more factors to consider than simply time.
You should replace your brush when the bristles are matted or frayed. Brushes with damaged bristles are less effective. They may even damage your tooth enamel.
You should also replace your brush after an illness. Your toothbrush collects the harmful bacteria that made you ill. Replacing your toothbrush after an illness keeps you from re-exposing yourself to that same harmful bacteria.
Rinse and Dry
Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after use. This helps by removing any food particles and toothbrush residue on your brush— both of which collect bacteria.
Allow your toothbrush to air dry. Avoid enclosing your toothbrush in a case or cabinet because keeping your toothbrush away from air can encourage microbial growth.
Do Not Share Toothbrushes
Sharing toothbrushes means that you are sharing bacteria, too. It is best to simply use your own toothbrush to avoid exposure to more bacteria.
Sanitize Your Toothbrush
You can periodically sanitize your toothbrush by allowing it to soak in hydrogen peroxide or an antibacterial mouthwash like Listerine. Sanitizing can keep your mouth healthy and extend the effectiveness of your brush.
Follow these tips to keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy. You will be so glad you did when you get a clean bill of health at your next dental checkup!