It’s common knowledge that regularly brushing your teeth is an essential part of protecting your oral health. However, in order to keep your mouth clean, you need to use a clean toothbrush! If you don’t store or clean it properly, it could easily become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Your Waco dentist shares a few helpful tips on how to disinfect your toothbrush and keep your smile happy and healthy.
Toothbrush Bristles and Bacteria
Your mouth is naturally full of oral bacteria and plaque. When either is allowed to build up, your risk of oral health conditions like tooth decay and gum disease increases. The bristles on your toothbrush gently but effectively scrub away these particles when you brush for two minutes twice a day.
Rinsing your toothbrush off after every use clears away most of the debris trapped in the bristles, but not all of it. Bacteria thrive in warm, dark, and damp environments, and they can survive on surfaces like your toothbrush bristles for several days. If you don’t allow your toothbrush to air dry properly by using a toothbrush cover or keeping in in an enclosed space like a cabinet or drawer, it can become a breeding ground for these bacteria. Then, the next time you brush, the bacteria is reintroduced into your mouth and your risk of oral infection rises.
Tips for Sanitizing Toothbrushes
Thankfully, there are numerous easy ways to sanitize your toothbrush with common staples you probably already have in your pantry. A few ways to clean away any lingering germs include:
- Swirling the toothbrush head in an antibacterial mouthwash for 30 seconds.
- Dunking the bristles into a cup of water that has two teaspoons of baking soda dissolved into it.
- Soaking the toothbrush in vinegar overnight once a week.
More Ways to Keep Toothbrushes Clean
There are also many ways to prevent bacterial growth on your toothbrush in the first place. To keep your toothbrush germ-free, try:
- Storing it upright and not allowing it to rest against other toothbrushes.
- Letting it airdry in an open space and not using a toothbrush cover.
- Throwing it away or disinfecting it after recovering from a sickness like a cold or the flu.
Remember, even if you regularly sanitize your toothbrush, it still needs to be replaced every three to four months to effectively protect your smile. Brushing your teeth regularly is an important part of keeping serious oral health conditions at bay, so it’s essential to make sure that your toothbrush is up to the task of keeping your smile clean!
About the Author
Our highly experienced team at Premier Family Dental in Waco, TX can help you overcome nearly any dental issue you face, but they’d much rather help you prevent them from developing in the first place. That’s why Dr. Rick Cofer focuses on providing excellent preventive care and always takes the time to educate his patients on the best ways to take care of their smiles at home. With regular dental checkups twice a year and great at-home oral hygiene tips, he is dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain great oral health that lasts a lifetime. If you have questions about keeping your toothbrush clean, feel free to contact him via his website or at (254) 732-0309.