Having good oral hygiene is one of the most effective ways to keep your teeth in top condition. At the very least, brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and follow that up by rinsing with a quality mouthwash.
All toothbrushes are not equal. It is hard to have good oral hygiene and fresh smelling breath when a toothbrush is overrun with decaying food particles, mold and bacteria. Keeping your toothbrush clean at all times goes a long way for your oral health.
There are lots of theories and myths about the most effective ways to keep a toothbrush clean, some more effective than others. Here is a look at some effective steps you can take to keep your toothbrush free from harmful bacteria that lead to bad breath and a host of oral health issues:
Oral hygiene 101: How to properly clean and store a toothbrush
Here are some easy things you can do to keep your toothbrush free of food particles and bacteria:
1. Properly rinse it after each use
An easy way to keep a toothbrush clean is by rinsing it with hot water prior to and after brushing. The hot water cleans the brush and kills any bacteria inside it. Use a finger to massage the bristles while running it through water for an even better clean.
Cleaning a toothbrush before brushing is just as important as doing so after brushing since airborne particles and bacteria build up on your toothbrush after each use.
2. Keep it dry when not in use
Gum disease results from anaerobic bacteria. These are bacteria that thrive in low-oxygen environments. Exposure to air is often enough to kill these germs. Keeping your toothbrush dry between brushing sessions will kill lots of bacteria that accumulate on it.
People who choose to keep their toothbrush in a container should use one that has adequate ventilation. One thing that is worth noting about storing toothbrushes in containers is the fact the bristles typically come in contact with the container. This contact can lead to contamination if the container does not receive a thorough cleaning.
3. Store it upright
Make sure the bristles of your toothbrush are up, while the handle is down when you store it after use. This makes it easier to drain out water trapped in the bristles. The water and any particles in the toothbrush will flow down to the bottom of the toothbrush.
4. Do not share
It is okay to share some things, but a toothbrush is not one of those things. Sure, it might seem romantic to share a toothbrush with your significant other, but what you are really sharing is germs. Young children also have a tendency to share toothbrushes, so make sure you talk to your children about how important it is to only use their toothbrush.
For homes with multiple children, it is best for each child to have a different color toothbrush.
5. Replace every three months
Regardless of how well you clean your toothbrush, it should be replaced every three months or so. That's about the time it takes for the bristles to wear out. You should also replace your toothbrush after getting sick.
What to learn more about proper oral hygiene? Contact a dentist today.
Request a dental appointment here: https://advanceddentalofnewwindsor.com or call Advanced Dental at (845) 228-8048 for an appointment in our New Windsor dental office.
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