As everyone knows, a toothbrush’s main job is to help you clean your teeth and eliminate residual plaque and bacteria. But what keeps our toothbrush clean?
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, the most basic way is to simply rinse the brush with tap water after you brush your teeth. This will help clear out any remaining toothpaste or food particles that may have gotten lodged between the bristles. Once you’ve rinsed off your toothbrush, it’s important to store it in an upright, open-air position.
Many people keep their brushes enclosed in a case or drawer, but the ADA suggests that this practice can encourage bacteria growth due to the moisture of a closed container. However, even if you do store your toothbrush in an upright, open container, make sure it is not touching any other toothbrushes that might be in the bathroom. This could cause bacteria to transfer from one person’s toothbrush to another.
Finally, one of the most important habits a person should get into when it comes to keeping toothbrushes clean is to replace it regularly. While the recommended time period varies between dentists and organizations, most suggest replacing your brush every two to four months. Signs that your brush needs to be replaced include noticeable fraying and wear, smashed or split bristles, and a lower level of effectiveness. Children and people with braces are likely to need more frequent replacements due to uneven brushing and roughness on the bristles.
Talk to your True Dental Discounts membership dentist about your unique brushing habits to figure out what guidelines fit your lifestyle best. He or she will be able to give you more personalized recommendations and help you maintain a clean and effective toothbrush schedule.