Taking Care of Your Brush

You know that you have to take care of your teeth by brushing them every day, but do you really know how to properly take care of your toothbrush? Keeping your brush fresh and in good condition will help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

When your toothbrush becomes worn out and frayed, it will be less effective in cleaning your teeth, gums, and…

You know that you have to take care of your teeth by brushing them every day, but do you really know how to properly take care of your toothbrush? Keeping your brush fresh and in good condition will help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

When your toothbrush becomes worn out and frayed, it will be less effective in cleaning your teeth, gums, and tongue. The bristles will be weak and won’t be able to remove plaque or scrub around the corners in the back of your mouth, so bacteria will begin to build up in the hard to reach nooks and crannies of your oral cavity. Also, the bacteria and germs from your mouth will build up on the brush. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if it loses its effectiveness. You should also replace your brush after you’ve recovered from a cold, virus, or infection to decrease the risk of becoming infected again.

After brushing your teeth, rinse the toothbrush with water to remove extra debris. Store it upright and let it air-dry as bacteria are more likely to grow in moist, enclosed environments. Make sure it is dry before the next use.

Don’t ever share a toothbrush with another person. This puts you at risk for contracting the bacteria from someone’s mouth into yours. When storing more than one brush in the same area, keep them a safe distance from each other so the germs are not transferred.

To help prevent cross-contamination, don’t soak your toothbrush in a disinfectant or mouthwash that others may use. It’s not necessary to clean your brush with a sanitizer every time you use it, but cleaning it once a week is a good idea. Also, make sure the toothpaste tube doesn’t touch the bristles of your brush. You can transfer bacteria to and from the tube, and contaminate others who use the same toothpaste.

Don’t store an open toothbrush near the toilet. Bacteria can spray out from the toilet when it’s flushed, and you don’t want that in your mouth.

Taking care of your toothbrush is important part of preventing serious oral health problems. If you have dental issues, incorrect toothbrush care could be to blame. Dr. Jim Erpenbach can tell you what you need to change about your at-home dental hygiene routine. ContactThe Knoxville Dentist at (865) 240-2035 to set up an appointment.

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