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Orthodontist in Broomfield Provides Tips For Taking Care of Toothbrushes

November 15, 2017

A toothbrush plays an important role in dental hygiene. With a little help from toothpaste, a toothbrush removes plaque from the teeth, stimulates gums, and prevents cavities. But, a toothbrush cannot do its job if it’s not being taken care of properly. Here are tips provided by an orthodontist in Broomfield to help you take care of your toothbrush:

Don’t Share Toothbrushes

Make sure everyone in your home has his or her own toothbrush so no one is forced to share with each other. Sharing toothbrushes is unsanitary and can lead to the transfer of bacteria and bodily fluids. If you ever have friends or family members staying at your home, it may be a good idea to buy a few extra toothbrushes in case someone forgets to pack their own.

Young children may have a hard time remembering which toothbrush is theirs, and they probably won’t understand the importance of using their own brush to keep their teeth clean. Make it easier for them by taking them to the store and letting them pick which toothbrush they want. There are countless toothbrushes that are designed just for kids. If they find one with their favorite superhero or cartoon character on it, they won’t have trouble remembering which one to grab when it’s time to brush their teeth.

Rinse After Use

Get in the habit of quickly cleaning your toothbrush after every use. To clean a toothbrush, simply run hot water from the faucet on it until all of the toothpaste and debris has been removed from the bristles. Then, shake the toothbrush a few times to remove some of the excess water on the bristles before storing it in an upright position.

Let Toothbrushes Air Out

Some people put their toothbrush inside a closed container after brushing their teeth to keep the bristles clean. However, keeping a moist toothbrush inside a closed container is not recommended. Bacteria thrive in moist and warm environments, so if you keep your toothbrush in this type of closed container, bacteria may start to grow. It’s best to let your toothbrush air out in an upright position after rinsing it clean. If it’s being stored alongside other toothbrushes, make sure they are not touching each other. Learn more about toothbrush care.

Keep the Toothbrush Away From the Toilet

Germs rise into the air every time you flush the toilet, and if your toothbrush is right beside or above the toilet, these germs could land directly on the bristles. To prevent this problem, do not store your toothbrush near the toilet. Put it on the opposite side of the bathroom so the airborne germs do not reach it every time you flush.

If you have a small bathroom, it may be difficult to store your toothbrush away from your toilet. In this case, simply close the lid on the toilet before you flush so the germs cannot rise into the air.

Replace Toothbrushes Regularly

A toothbrush will become less effective over time because its bristles will start to fray and wear down. Because of this, it’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, even if there are no noticeable signs of damage. However, it’s important to note that some people’s toothbrushes will wear down faster than others. Therefore, replace your toothbrush right away if you see signs of fraying or damage on the bristles, even if it hasn’t been three to four months yet.

Change Toothbrushes After An Illness

The three to four month rule does not apply to people who have been sick. It’s best to replace your toothbrush after you have fully recovered from the flu, a common cold, or any time of mouth infection. Even if you thoroughly clean the toothbrush, germs from your illness could still be hiding deep within the bristles. Instead of getting sick again, toss your toothbrush and buy a new one.

Soak Toothbrushes in Mouthwash

Some studies have shown that soaking the head of your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing your teeth can prevent bacterial growth. If you want to go above and beyond to keep your toothbrush and mouth clean, try this trick at home.

Traveling With A Toothbrush

How can you keep your toothbrush clean while traveling? It’s best to store your toothbrush inside a plastic toothbrush storage case when you need to pack it inside a suitcase. But as previously mentioned, these cases can promote bacterial growth if the toothbrush is moist. Avoid this problem by letting your toothbrush completely dry before putting it inside the case and tossing it in your luggage.

Make sure the case that you choose is the appropriate size for your toothbrush. The toothbrush should sit comfortably inside the case, and the bristles should not be squished or flattened against the plastic.

Clean the Toothbrush Holder

Most people store their toothbrushes upright inside a cup or specially designed toothbrush holder. Every time you place a toothbrush inside one of these holders after brushing your teeth, the water from the bristles drains to the bottom. This means over time, the bottom of the toothbrush holder becomes covered in a layer of dirty water and bacteria. Eventually, the bacteria will start to make its way onto your toothbrush, which is why it’s so important to clean the toothbrush holder at least once a week.

Wash Your Hands

Before reaching for your toothbrush in the morning and evening, rinse your hands with soap and water. This will ensure that your hands are clean when they touch your toothbrush so you aren’t inadvertently transferring bacteria onto your brush.

For more information on how to properly care for your toothbrush, talk to the experts. At Prentice Orthodontics, our goal is to serve your needs, improve your health, and make you smile! We have a highly trained and friendly staff that is eager to welcome you into our offices and assist you with your dental needs. Call 303-468-7722 for a free consultation or contact us using the form on our website today!