The Ugly Truth about Your Toothbrush
Toothbrush – a trusted tool that helps you to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.
You always make it a point to wash your toothbrush before brushing your teeth but do you also clean it thoroughly after brushing and store it properly.
After your toothbrush has done its job, where do you stash it? Did you ever consider that the way you store your toothbrush can make a difference to your oral health?
Do you know what’s lurking on your toothbrush?
Your toothbrush is loaded with germs. There are hundreds of millions of microorganisms trapped in the bristles of your toothbrush, including the one that cause cold, viral fever and infections.
But don’t panic, your mouth exactly wasn’t sterile to start with.
Here are some tips that will help you keep your toothbrush-and consequently your mouth-in the best shape possible.
Tips to Store Your Toothbrush
1. Give it a good wash.
Wash your toothbrush before and after every use. Give it a good thorough rinse under running tap water and rub your thumb over its bristles. Make sure you are not leaving behind any toothpaste or debris in the bristles of your toothbrush that gives a ground for micro-organisms to grow.
2. Keep it upright and let gravity do its job.
Many people have a habit of placing the toothbrush upside down in the cup or holder to prevent the dust from settling in bristles. The water retained in the bristles help the micro-organisms to grow. Let gravity do its job.
Store your brush upright in a cup or holder or hang it upright, and allow all the water to drain off from the bristles.
3. No need to cover up. Store it out in open.
Do not store your toothbrush in close containers or toothbrush holders. They create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria’s to grow. Make sure your toothbrush has access to good air circulation and isn’t suffocating in a small drawer or cabinet when not in use. Let your brush air dry thoroughly between brushings.
4. Keep away from other toothbrushes.
Don’t let toothbrushes touch each other. Bacteria on one brush can swap onto another when they touch. If they are kept in same holder try to keep them separated to prevent contamination. Try not keeping too many toothbrushes in one holder.
5. Keep it to yourself.
No matter how close you are to your sister, brother, spouse or roommate, don’t ever use their toothbrush. Sharing toothbrush can exchange body fluids and microorganisms between the users, placing the individuals at an increased risk for infections.
6. Don’t brush where you flush.
Most bathrooms are small. And in many homes, the toilet is pretty close to the bathroom sink where you keep your toothbrush. You don’t store your plates and glasses by the toilet, so why would you want to place your toothbrush there? Every toilet flush sends a spray of bacteria into the air. And you don’t want the toilet spray anywhere near your open toothbrush.
7. Keep it out of the path of cleaning products.
If you keep household cleaners in the bathroom, make sure your toothbrush isn’t standing where it could come in contact with these harsh or toxic ingredients. You surely don’t want them to get into your mouth through your brush. As well they could even harm your brush bristles.
8. Keep it covered on the road, but not at home.
When you travel, put your toothbrush in a travel toothbrush holder-don’t let it roll around uncovered in your suitcase or toiletry bag where it can pick up dust, dirt, and bacteria.
But make sure the holder is not holding your toothbrush really tightly inside, it has venting holes and it is dry when you place your brush.
9. When to toss your toothbrush
Like every product in market even your toothbrush has an expiry date, but it’s not printed on the packet, it’s you who has to decide it. Ideally you should replace your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. People who have a heavy hand while brushing and kids need replacement more frequently. In case of power toothbrush its head should be replaced every 3 months.
That’s because no matter what type of toothbrush you use, its bristles become frayed and worn and looses their effectiveness. And it has been seen that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than one that’s worn out, ensuring that your brush is working its hardest to help keep your teeth clean and healthy.
There are some toothbrushes available in market which has bristles that change colors indicating they have worn out (oral-b indicator toothbrush)- a glaring reminder it’s time to change toothbrush.
Even though there are antimicrobial toothbrushes (oral-b cross action vitalizer plus) available in market to help keep brush bristles clean between brushing for up to 90 days, these bristles do not kill bacteria in the mouth, protect you against disease or prevent you from getting sick. So be sure to change your brush after period of illness or cold.