Brushing your teeth is the most critical part of your dental hygiene routine. It allows you to prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and a variety of other oral health issues. However, if your toothbrush is worn from use or covered in harmful bacteria, you may not be benefitting from it as much as you could be. To keep your toothbrush in good shape, try following these seven easy steps.
1. Swap out your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
It is strongly recommended that you change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, according to the American Dental Association. This is because your toothbrush begins to wear down over time, making it less effective in cleaning your teeth. If you’re not certain whether or not you’ve reached the 3-month mark, simply look to the bristles. If they’re frayed or damaged, this means that the toothbrush is not working as efficiently as it could be and it is time for a change.
2. If you’ve been sick, throw out your toothbrush and start fresh.
Your toothbrush is great for scrubbing away bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. However, this does not necessarily mean that it kills the germs entirely. Therefore, if you’ve been dealing with an infection for some time (or if your toothbrush is stored next to that of someone who has), you might consider replacing your toothbrush. This will allow you to avoid using a toothbrush that is harboring bacteria that could make you sick.
3. Be sure to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly.
Each time you use your toothbrush, it is important that you rinse it thoroughly after you’re done. This will allow you to rinse away debris and germs from the bristles of your brush.
4. Do not share toothbrushes.
It is important that you do not use the same toothbrush as someone else. Otherwise, the exchange of microorganisms between users could make you susceptible to infections. This is particularly important for those with compromised immune systems.
5. Use antibacterial rinse.
There are a couple ways that antibacterial rinse might help you to keep your toothbrush in good shape. For starters, you can try rinsing out your mouth with an antibacterial rinse before you brush. This will slow down the rate at which bacteria builds on your toothbrush. You can also try soaking your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouth rinse—this will help you to remove bacteria and keep your toothbrush in good shape!
6. Make sure your travel container is the proper size.
We recommend that you avoid storing your toothbrush in an airtight case when you travel. Otherwise, if the case is too tight or does not allow circulation, you risk that more bacteria on the toothbrush will grow. Also, be certain that your travel case has holes for ventilation and drainage. Finally, make sure to clean your toothbrush case regularly—you can even try putting it in the dishwasher to ensure that it is clean!
7. Store your toothbrush properly.
The best possible storage for your toothbrush would allow the brush to hang or stand in an upright position in an area that has plenty of air circulation. You’ll want to avoid keeping the toothbrush near the toilet or damp areas like the shower to avoid bacterial growth. By doing so, you’ll make sure that your toothbrush keeps you in good oral health.
Looking for more ways to keep your teeth in good health? Schedule a six-month check-up at Oak Park Dental Group today!