If you’re brushing your teeth as often as you should, that means your toothbrush spends around four minutes a day in your mouth. It’s important to keep it clean and stored properly and know when it’s time to get a new one so your teeth stay healthy. Dr. Jacob Grapevine, a Plano TX dentist, suggests you take a look at the do’s and don’ts of how to care for your toothbrush.
Rinse your toothbrush with water after using it. Leaving toothpaste residue behind will just brush old plaque around on your teeth the next time you use it. Rinsing clears away the plaque that was just removed from your teeth.
Store it upright and let it air dry, which allows excess water to dry off so there won’t be mildew or bacteria growth on your toothbrush. Some bacteria even die when exposed to air.
Replace the toothbrush every 3-4 months, or at least every six months when you see your dentist for a regular cleaning. Signs that it needs to be replaced earlier include bristles bending, fraying, or coming off.
Don’t sanitize the toothbrush in mouthwash or hand sanitizer. This may be poisonous to you and is unnecessary. Allowing the brush to air dry is sufficient for killing bacteria on the toothbrush.
Don’t share toothbrushes, even with your spouse. Sharing toothbrushes opens you up to others’ bacteria, which can put your oral health and the other person’s at risk.
Don’t store the toothbrush in a closed container such as a medicine cabinet or toothbrush holder for long periods of time. While it might make sense to put the toothbrush away because it is exposed to bacteria from the toilet, storing the toothbrush in a closed container actually helps bacteria grow.
That being said, try to keep your toothbrush away from the toilet. Germs go airborne after flushing. Try to store your toothbrush far away from the toilet while still letting it air dry.
Toothbrushes don’t need any special cleaning in order to stay effective and sanitary. Rinsing them after use and allowing them to air dry is enough to keep your mouth clean and healthy — just make sure they’re replaced regularly.