Your toothbrush is meant to rid your mouth of bacteria and germs. But at my Chapel Hill dental office, we know that your toothbrush may not always be clean itself. In fact, your toothbrush may be home to some seriously nasty things.
Like What Nasty Things?
We’re glad you asked. Some of the grossest things sometimes found lingering on toothbrushes can include:
- E. Coli. Storing your toothbrush too close to your toilet can allow fecal matter and possibly the E.Coli bacteria to land on it (yes, we know this is super gross, but that’s why we’re telling you).
- Blood. If you have gum disease or mouth sores caused by trauma, chances are you bleed when you brush, allowing the blood to transfer onto the toothbrush.
- Staphylococcus Aureus. This bacteria usually lives within your respiratory system. And when we breathe, it can cause it to come to our mouths and, in turn, on our toothbrushes. Don’t fret too much though, it’s usually pretty rare.
Proper Toothbrush Care
To help keep your toothbrush clean and free of these scary germs, follow the tips below.
- Rinse, Rinse, Rinse. After each and every brushing session, spend a few extra seconds thoroughly rinsing your toothbrush with water. A good rinse helps remove any lingering food that was removed, rids the brush of leftover toothpaste, and flushes germs and bacteria down the sink.
- Smart Storage. Keeping your toothbrush stored upright allows anything that may still be lingering around to fall away from the bristles. What’s more, allowing it to air dry and not sealing it up in a container limits the opportunity for bacteria growth. Lastly, if more than one toothbrush is stored in close quarters, try not to let them touch. More on this in the next tip.
- Sharing is NOT Caring. Sharing a toothbrush or allowing the bristles of multiple brushes to touch could allow germs and bacteria to be transferred from one person to another, increasing the risk for infections and illness.
- Get a New One. You should treat yourself to a new toothbrush every three to four months. Bristles tend to become frayed around this time and become ineffective. A replacement toothbrush should also be purchased following a sickness.
The best ways to keep your mouth as healthy as possible are to follow a good at-home oral health program of brushing well, flossing often, and keeping your toothbrush clean. But that’s only half of it. Maintaining regular visits with your dentist is crucial to catching problems early and treating them effectively. If it’s time for your checkup, give my Chapel Hill dental office a call today and schedule an appointment.
Serving patients from Chapel Hill, Durham, Pittsboro.