Before your thoughts head to mold and mildew in your shower or that interesting spot in your toilet bowl, take a moment to consider your toothbrush. There it is, just waiting for you to wet it, add paste, and brush. Of course, you rinse it when you’re done and put it back to dry. But, microorganisms are pesky—they live in your mouth AND on your brush.
Also, if you store your brush in a dark cupboard or in an airtight container, the growth of those microorganisms is exponential!Keep your toothbrush clean
Wash it. Give your toothbrush a thorough rinse with tap water to remove debris. If you are really fastidious, you may want to soak it in antibacterial mouthwash or dip it in boiling water for 5-10 seconds.
Store it properly. After use, don’t pop that wet toothbrush back into your medicine cabinet, drawer, or bathroom cup and forget about it. Store it upright where it can dry. Look for a cover that lets air circulate and prevents mold, but isn’t completely sealed. The lack of air can foster bacteria.
Get a new toothbrush regularly
How often should you change your brush? The American Dental Association recommends getting a new toothbrush every three months. This is mostly due to the wear on the bristles and not the germs.
If you are a heavy-handed brusher, your bristles may wear out sooner. Take a good look at the bristles; if they are frayed, you should replace. Frayed bristles will not clean teeth and gums adequately. Check children’s toothbrushes regularly because they also will need to be replaced.
If you are tempted to lend a toothbrush, don’t do it. Toothbrush sharing can transfer saliva and bacteria—even the kind that can cause tooth decay.Keeping your teeth and gums healthy leads to fewer cavities and less oral disease. Take the time and effort to take care of your mouth and you will be able to share your real smile for a long time.