When looking after your oral health, you consider yourself the perfect patient. You do everything that you are supposed to do. You brush twice a day, floss regularly and stick to your dental checkups, but there is one vital gap in your routine that you are most likely overlooking – how well your toothbrush is being maintained.
Your toothbrush is essentially your first line of defence when it comes to removing the bacteria that cause gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. So, how you clean it, store it and how often you replace it all plays a crucial role in your overall oral health care.
Replacing your toothbrush
It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If not replaced, the bristles will start to lose their stiffness, begin to fray and become worn out. When this happens, your toothbrush becomes less effective at clearing away plaque or harmful bacteria, negating a clean toothbrush.
Cleaning your toothbrush
After brushing, you should always make sure to sanitize your toothbrush. However, you don’t need to use specific cleansers or scrub them vigorously because this will prematurely wear out the bristles. Instead, rinsing your toothbrush under hot water before and after use is sufficient as long as you ensure that all excess toothpaste and debris is removed.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can soak the bristles in some antibacterial mouthwash for a maximum of two minutes. Just be aware that this may deteriorate your toothbrush a lot faster.
Another way to prevent unwanted bacteria from transferring onto your toothbrush is by making sure that you wash your hands before and after brushing your teeth.
Storing your toothbrush
After giving your toothbrush a good rinse, you need to store it correctly to optimize your oral health routine truly.
You should never cover the head of a toothbrush or store it in a closed cabinet. This will create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive as the bristles remain moist. The best place to store your toothbrush is upright and near a window. This will allow the bristles to air dry before your next use.
This might seem like an obvious tip, but it is essential nonetheless. You should always keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible. When you flush, particles spray into the air and settle on nearby surfaces, including your toothbrush.
Additionally, you should avoid positioning your toothbrush too close to another toothbrush as this could cause cross-contamination and promote the spread of bacteria.
Taking the time to care for tools that you use in your daily oral health routine will not only reduce your risk of dental issues but will help you achieve that perfect smile. If you would like more toothbrush tips, consult with your dentist. They can give you further instructions and advise you on the best toothbrush to use for your mouth.