by Whitney Moore, RDH
Brushing your teeth is the most important part of your daily oral care. Brushing allows you to remove plaque and debris from the crown surfaces of your teeth to keep your smile bright and beautiful. Therefore, your toothbrush needs to be properly maintained and stored to keep it working like it should.
A toothbrush can harbor bacteria if not changed and cared for properly. Microorganisms can become buried deep in the bristles, such bacteria that can cause colds, infections, and viruses. According to the American Dental Association, you should change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, after being sick, or once the bristles become frayed. Also one should never share a toothbrush with any other person under any circumstances. Toothpaste should also not be applied to more than one toothbrush straight from the tube, because bacteria can be transferred from one toothbrush to another.
When you brush your teeth it is important to rinse your toothbrush off with water before and after use to prevent bacterial growth. Also after you finish brushing your teeth in the morning and at night for two minutes, it is important to shake or tap your toothbrush dry.
When it comes to storing your toothbrush, there are a few key facts that are important. Toothbrushes should be stored in an open container so that they can air dry. Also they should be stored in an upright position and at least two feet away from the toilet if they are stored in the bathroom. Also if you have multiple toothbrushes being stored together it is important that they do not touch.
Brushing two times a day for two minutes with a properly maintained toothbrush is vital in obtaining optimal oral health.
So take good care of your and your family’s toothbrushes today!