Aside from your dentist, your toothbrush is the most important tool you have to keep your teeth healthy and free of decay. It also helps prevent gum disease and stimulates the gum tissue to ensure healthy circulation. However, if you don’t keep your toothbrush clean and in good repair, you can seriously reduce its effectiveness or even inadvertently introduce more bacteria into your mouth.
Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean
When you finish brushing your teeth, you should rinse your toothbrush thoroughly to remove excess toothpaste and any debris that has lingered on the bristles. If you are at home, the best way to treat the toothbrush after rinsing is to let it air dry. Setting it in a toothbrush holder with the bristled end up allows water to drain down from the bristles.
When you’re traveling, you should keep your toothbrush in a special travel holder. This will keep it from picking up dust, dirt, lint, or other debris while it’s in your suitcase. In your hotel room, though, let it air dry like you do when you’re at home.
If you’re particularly concerned about the cleanliness of your toothbrush, you can use a sanitizer to remove any lingering bacteria, but this is probably not necessary. If you’re worried about transmitting germs from your toothbrush back to yourself when you’re sick, buy a new toothbrush if you’ve had a cold or the flu.
Keeping Your Toothbrush in Good Repair
Most toothbrushes need to be replaced about every three months. This applies both to manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes. Most electric toothbrushes have replaceable heads, so you can simply replace the head rather than buying a whole new toothbrush. If the bristles on your toothbrush are spread out and ragged-looking, you need to buy a new one. It’s best to replace the toothbrush before it gets this worn, so keep an eye on the condition of the brush.
Your dentist can provide additional information about how to ensure your toothbrush remains clean and functional. Our dentist at Nicholas Kemp Dentistry can also provide or recommend a new toothbrush if you’re unsure about the best kind to buy. Call 416-922-1012 for more helpful tips.