A Clean Toothbrush - five Tips

Your toothbrush is your primary tool to defend against a myriad of dental problems, including unsightly plaque, discoloration and gum disease. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is the most important step for good oral health, but keeping your toothbrush clean is just as vital – after all, your mouth is home to hundreds of various microorganisms that can transfer onto your toothbrush during each use.

Take a moment to consider how clean your toothbrush is – did you sufficiently rinse it this morning? Is it properly stored? Could it be time for a new one? No matter how often or how thoroughly you brush, you’re not doing much good if your toothbrush isn’t clean and sanitary. Here are some tips to keep your toothbrush as germ-free as possible.

Clean Your Hands

Your hands carry a majority of the germs and dirt that you encounter every day. To ensure these germs do not come into contact with your toothbrush, experts suggest washing your hands with soap and warm water before even picking it up.

Rinse Thoroughly

Before and after each use, you should rinse your toothbrush under running water for approximately 10 seconds while gently running a clean finger along the bristles. This habit will remove any remaining toothpaste or debris from the brush, ensuring the brush head is clean and sufficiently dry before the next use.

Ensure Proper Storage

If your toothbrush is stored in a container with another person’s brush, prevent cross-contamination by ensuring that the two brush heads do not come into contact with one another. Additionally, do not store your toothbrush in a cabinet or in any other closed area where the bristles cannot air-dry, as a moist environment is more conducive to bacterial growth. Experts also recommend placing your toothbrush as far away from your toilet as possible. Potentially harmful bacteria from inside the toilet bowl can disperse throughout your bathroom each time you flush. Therefore, maintaining a distance of at least six feet between your toothbrush and toilet, as well as closing the lid while flushing, will help control the spread of germs.

Fight Germs with Deep Cleansing

Both the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that there is insufficient evidence to advocate the use of commercially-available toothbrush sanitizers to avoid the spread of disease. However, while they may not prevent disease, they can help remove as much as 99.9% of germs on your toothbrush. To perform the occasional deep cleansing, invest in a sanitizer that utilizes UV technology to eradicate almost all microorganisms on your brush in between uses, or soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouth wash for several minutes. In the past, some have suggested that placing your toothbrush in the dishwasher or microwave will sanitize it; however, these methods will most likely cause permanent damage to your brush and will simply decrease its effectiveness.

Replace It!

Dental experts strongly suggest replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or as soon as the bristles become visibly worn and frayed. Children’s toothbrushes need to be replaced more often, with the suggested lifespan of the brush averaging only two to three months.

Now that you know the best ways to keep your toothbrush clean and fresh, you can brush every day with confidence! Remember to do so each morning and night, and also be sure to schedule biannual check-ups with a high-quality dentist who can polish your pearly whites and keep your oral health in check.


About the Author
Dr. Frank Nia, one of the experienced and compassionate general dentists at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry, believes the connection between a dentist and a patient is about achieving great overall health, rather than just a healthy smile. Before joining the team in McDonough, GA, Dr. Nia obtained his DMD degree from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Upon graduation, he received a scholarship to continue his studies at the university’s Graduate School of Education, where he earned his MSEd in Higher Education. To further his training, Dr. Nia has become an active member in the dental care community, currently participating in multiple organizations that focus on improving both clinical and care standards. When he’s not busy brightening smiles, Dr. Nia enjoys playing sports, including football, tennis and golf. Most of all, Dr. Nia loves spending time with his wife and family. For more information about Dr. Nia and the rest of the team at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry, visit www.mcdonoughdentistry.com.


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