Most people assume that brushing their teeth once or twice a day and flossing the teeth at least once daily are all enough to have a good set of teeth. We agree that brushing and flossing are essential, but we urge our patients not to forget the need to use the right kind of toothbrush. Furthermore, it is equally important to keep your toothbrush clean and germ-free to do the job well.
Though it's not proven that the germs on the toothbrush can directly lead to health issues, cleaning your toothbrush, making it germ-free, and knowing when to replace the brush is vital to sustaining good oral hygiene.
Here are a few tips on taking care of your toothbrush and how to prevent the spread of germs to and from the toothbrush.
1. Don't Use Pressure to Brush Your Teeth.
Forcing extra pressure on teeth to scrub plaque can damage the enamel and can cause damage to the toothbrush as well. High levels of force on the toothbrush can cause its bristles to fray and fall out of place, thus making it ineffective. So, we recommend you clean your tooth with repetitive motions instead of exerting too much pressure on the teeth. You may require brushing your teeth for an extra minute to make them sparklingly white and clean, but this will help preserve the life and efficiency of the toothbrush.
2. Rinse Off Your Toothbrush
As per the American Dental Association (ADA), it is important to thoroughly rinse off the toothbrush with water after every use to remove any toothpaste, plaque, food particles, and other debris from the toothbrush. After brushing the teeth, rinse the brush off by placing them under warm, running water and rub its bristles to remove anything stuck between them.
3. Keep the Toothbrush Dry
Always store the toothbrush dry as the presence of moisture can encourage the growth of bacteria. Brushing the teeth using a bacteria-ridden toothbrush can increase the risk of dental problems. Shake off water from the toothbrush after rinsing it and place it vertically upright in a toothbrush holder away from the toilet, allowing it to air-dry. Besides, do not store multiple brushes together to prevent the spread of germs.
4. Disinfect your toothbrush
Disinfecting the toothbrush once in a while using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution or antiseptic mouthwash can help kill germs and deactivate various microorganisms.
5. Clean Your Hands Before Using Your Toothbrush
To prevent the spread of bacteria from your hands to the toothbrush and to the mouth, wash your hands well before brushing your teeth. Using antibacterial soap to wash your hands will further reduce the number of germs present on your hands.
6. Replace Your Toothbrush Often
The American Dental Association recommends replacing the toothbrush every three or four months as its bristles can fray and wear down over time, resulting in inefficient cleaning. Besides, replacing the toothbrush after recovering from flu or a cold is recommended to prevent reinfection due to the bacteria present on the brush.
Improve your oral health routine by taking care of your teeth and the dental tools you use.
If you want to know more about how to take care of your toothbrush, call Hallmark Dental Group, Saint George, UT, at (435) 634-8338 or schedule an appointment online.