You go to great lengths to keep your home tidy, yourself healthy, and your life in order. You shower daily, do laundry regularly, and would never dream of letting a spill linger in the kitchen only to attract bacteria and funky smells. While those of us with children seem to be especially conscious of germs, most of us have our minds on sanitation to some extent and we like to think of ourselves as clean, tidy people. That said, have you ever considered the bacteria lingering on your toothbrush after it has spent two minutes in your mouth? Have you given thought to where it spends the 23 hours, 56 minutes every day that it isn’t in use? Today, we’re talking toothbrushes and how to keep them clean and tidy so you can keep your mouth healthy and happy!
Storage is important.
Where your toothbrush lives is vitally important in keeping it clean between uses. It’s best to store your toothbrush upright so excess water can drain away and the bristles can fully dry out between uses. Moisture is bacteria’s playground, so keeping your bristles dry will help to prevent bacteria from growing. Because of the need for dryness, air flow is also important in toothbrush storage. Avoid toothbrush head covers that lock in moisture, and make sure that the airflow is good wherever your brush is spending most of its time. Avoid keeping toothbrushes in cabinets and drawers and instead opt for a shelf or beside the sink. If you can, keep your toothbrush at least three feet away from the toilet, too, to prevent bacteria that spreads with each toilet flush. Finally, if storing your toothbrush in a holder with other people’s brushes, make sure the heads aren’t touching so you can avoid cross contamination.
Sometimes you need to say goodbye.
Replacing your toothbrush is crucially important in keeping your oral hygiene routine up to par. A toothbrush has a lifespan of about three months, after which time the bristles start to weaken and they can’t do as thorough of a job. While you can disinfect your bristles with mouthwash or alcohol between replacements, old tricks like putting it through the dishwasher won’t actually bring it back to life. It’s best just to say goodbye every 90 days and treat yourself to a brand new set of bristles.
Sharing is not caring.
If you’re in a bind and have found yourself without a toothbrush, sometimes we feel compelled to borrow one from a friend or partner. Sharing toothbrushes is never a good idea, however, as sharing mouth bacteria with someone else can lead to illness. Some people find carrying a toothbrush in their bag or keeping a spare at work to be a good way to help keep your brush bases covered!
If you’ve got questions about how to keep your bristles up to snuff, or if you would simply like to schedule a routine checkup with your dentist, give us a call at Downtown Dental in the Loop or River North today!