Giving Your Toothbrush some TLC

Apr 30, 2015

We all know that keeping our teeth, tongue and gums healthy by brushing is essential to our oral health. Many people however, pay little attention to giving their toothbrushes the much needed TLC they need.

According to top professors of periodontology, our oral cavities are home to hundreds of microorganisms and these can be transferred to a toothbrush when we use one. Here are some recommendations by our top dentists for taking care of your toothbrush.

Do Not Share

When a toothbrush is shared, chances of body fluids and microorganisms being exchanged amongst users are high and this places all users at an increased risk for infections. If one of the users has a compromised immune system or an existing infectious disease, it is even more of a concern. That being said, you should never share your toothbrush.

After you brush your teeth, you should first thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with tap water so that you get rid of any remaining toothpaste and debris. A toothbrush should always be stored in an upright position so that it can be air dried until further use. In the case of more than one toothbrush being stored in the same holder or area, the brushes should be separated so that cross contamination will not happen.

Many people are in the habit of covering their toothbrushes or storing them in closed containers. This is not a good practise according to dentists as the moist environment in the closed container is more conducive to microorganism growth.

Toothbrushes should be replaced every four months or when the bristles start to fray, whichever comes sooner. Cleaning effectiveness starts top decrease when the toothbrush starts to wear out. Children’s toothbrushes need more frequent replacement than adults’ toothbrushes.

Although there is no evidence that bacteria on toothbrushes are the cause of diseases, people who have a low immune system or low resistance to infections should consider replacing their toothbrushes more often. They should also consider soaking their toothbrushes in an antibacterial mouth-rinse for a few minutes after use.

For the best advice related to toothbrushes, speak to your dentist.