Your toothbrush may very well be one of the most important and useful tools in your arsenal of weapons against the toxic plaque that causes cavities. By taking good care of your toothbrush, you will increase the amount of bacteria that it can eliminate and avoid bacteria from making an unwelcome comeback. Our objective at Cottonwood Dental is to ensure that everyone has the basic fundamental knowledge of how to care for your teeth when you leave our care. This leads us to the following tips, which will assist you in prolonging the life of your toothbrush and more importantly, help clean your teeth more effectively.
1. Wash Your Toothbrush Before and After Use
Sanitizing your toothbrush under running hot water before and after each use is the most basic method of cleaning your toothbrush. This helps to loosen the bristles and excess particles that latch onto your toothbrush. Before you apply toothpaste, make sure to run water that is hot enough to produce steam over the bristles.
2. Disinfect Your Toothbrush With Antibacterial Mouthwash
If hot water just isn’t cutting it for you, soak the head of your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash for about 2 mins after brushing. Be warned that this may cause your bristles to wear down faster due to the harsh ingredients.
3. Use A Denture Cleanser
Another quick method to sanitize your toothbrush is by using a denture cleanser, which contains antibacterial detergents and enzymes that help break apart food particles that causes bacteria and plaque to build up in your mouth.
For the sake of sanitation, do not reuse the denture cleanser that was previously used for dentures.
To go the denture cleanser route, dissolve a half tablet into a glass of water and let your toothbrush sit in the solution for at least 90 seconds for optimal results.
4. Store Your Toothbrush Properly
Toothbrushes should be kept inches away from each other so be sure to avoid storing them side by side. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), toothbrushes should be stored in an upright position after each use in order for them to properly air dry. A wet and recently used toothbrush can encourage microbial growth if stored in an enclosed container, especially more so than if it were left outside.
5. Keep Your Toothbrush Away From The Toilet
Where you put your toothbrush counts. The toilet can create a mist of germs that is sprayed upon flushing, which can lead to toothbrush contamination if it is not placed far enough. It is recommended that your toothbrush is at least four feet away from the toilet to be safe.
6. Replace Your Toothbrush
Dentists as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend replacing toothbrushes roughly every three to four months or sooner if the bristles have bent and frayed. This is important to adhere by as your toothbrush’s effectiveness is reduced with the wearing of its bristles.
About The Author
Dentist at Cottonwood Dental
Dentistry is a profession that requires many layers of knowledge and training. My background encompasses three post-grad degrees along with a command of aesthetics and precision. Both of those are necessary when creating the great results that we promise our patients. Being a graduate of the University of New Mexico and Marquette University School of Dentistry has provided me with a launching point for my practice at Cottonwood Dental. My ongoing research… [Read full bio]