Your toothbrush spends around four minutes a day in your mouth, so you probably want it to be clean. To do this you need to make sure you’re storing it properly and know when to replace it. Dr. Nish Patel of Manatee Advanced Dentistry encourages you to take a look at the do’s and don’ts of how to care for your toothbrush so you can keep your smile healthy.
Rinse out your toothbrush with tap water after you’re finished brushing. Leaving residual toothpaste behind means that it won’t be clean for the next time you use it. Also, the rinse will wash away the plaque that you just removed from your teeth.
Store the brush upright and open to dry in the open air. The upright position allows the excess water to run off so you shouldn’t have mildew or bacteria growing on your toothbrush. Some bacteria die when they dry out, so letting the brush air dry kills them off!
Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or every six months at most when you see your dentist for a regularly scheduled cleaning. If you happen to notice bristles coming off, bending, or fraying, it’s time to replace the brush.
Don’t share toothbrushes. Sharing your toothbrush can transfer bacteria to others, risking not only your oral health, but your friend or family member’s as well.
Don’t sanitize the toothbrush in mouthwash or other oral hygiene solutions. This is unnecessary and may even be dangerous to you. Allowing the brush to dry out in the open air is enough to kill most bacteria.
Don’t store in a closed container. While you may have heard that toothbrushes can be contaminated by bacteria from the toilet, don’t store them in closed containers. This keeps moisture in, allowing bacteria to flourish, which could be harmful to your mouth.
That being said, don’t store your toothbrush too close to the toilet bowl. Germs can indeed go airborne after you flush. Try to store your toothbrush far away from the toilet where it’s still able to air dry.
Toothbrushes don’t need extraordinary measures in order to keep them clean and safe to use. Simply rinsing them after use with tap water and allowing them to air dry is enough to keep your smile clean and healthy – just make sure you replace them regularly.