We always encourage brushing your teeth at least twice a day to maintain a healthy smile and prevent plaque buildup and cavities. But did you know that proper brushing hygiene begins before you even pick up your toothbrush? The manner in which you store and maintain your toothbrush can actually impact your oral hygiene as well as your overall health.
It is recommended that you store your toothbrush in a dry location that has airflow and as far away from the toilet as possible, as airborne particles could contaminate your toothbrush. Keeping the toothbrush in an upright position where the brush can dry out prevents the growth of bacteria or mold on your brush.
In between uses, it is a good idea to wash your toothbrush to maintain its cleanliness. Rinse off any larger particles that may be clinging to the brush, and soak it in some antibacterial mouthwash to kill off all the bacteria. Another option is to run your toothbrush through the dishwasher every so often. This is also a good idea for when you first purchase a new toothbrush, as the packaging is not sterile and bacteria may have formed already. If you are ill, it is especially important to thoroughly sanitize the toothbrush between uses and recommended to use a new toothbrush after the illness is past.
Another habit to avoid is sharing a toothbrush with anyone else, even if they are family members. This fosters the transfer of bacteria that can be harmful, such as bacteria that cause teeth to decay.
Like nearly everything we come in contact with, your toothbrush will never be completely sterile, but it is important to take proper precautions to keep your toothbrush as hygienic as possible. If you would like to learn more about proper brushing and toothbrush storing techniques, we invite you to contact our office.