Keeping Your Toothbrush (and Mouth) Free of Harmful Bacteria

In your oral healthcare arsenal, your toothbrush is one of your most important tools for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Proper brushing and flossing is essential to preventing common disease like gingivitis and dental caries (cavities). Caring for and discarding your toothbrush when necessary is vital for getting the most out of this important oral health too. Following are some tips for keeping your toothbrush in good shape in between visits to our dentist for checkups and cleanings.

Discard Old Toothbrushes Every Few Months

Although your toothbrush helps brush away food particles and prevent plaque formation, its bristles can harbor bacteria – especially if you don’t throw your toothbrush away frequently. You should use a new toothbrush, or new brush head if you have an electronic toothbrush, every three months. If the bristles on your toothbrush or brush head begin to fray before three months has passed, go ahead and get a new one. Exchanging your brush will help keep it performing as optimally as possible while also reducing bacterial growth on its bristles.

Rinse Your Toothbrush After Every Use

After you finish brushing your teeth, you should rinse the bristles of your toothbrush under warm water. This will help remove any leftover food particles and toothpaste. You want your toothbrush clean between uses for optimal performance.

Store Your Toothbrush Upright

Since your toothbrush gets wet during use, it is important that it can dry between brushing periods. Moist or wet bristles create an environment that is conducive to bacterial growth. To ensure that your brush air-dries properly, it should be stored upright. This will allow water and moisture to drain off the bristles. We recommend using a toothbrush holder to keep your brush upright in between uses.

If you need product recommendations or oral hygiene tips, be sure to speak with our dentist. Our staff will be happy to provide a list of our favorite products. When choosing a toothbrush or toothpaste, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.

For more tips or to schedule a cleaning, call us today to reserve an appointment!

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