Good toothbrush hygiene is just as important as good oral hygiene. You can be brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly, but if you are not caring for your toothbrush properly, you are still putting your mouth at risk.
Whether you use a manual toothbrush or a battery-operated toothbrush for cleaning your teeth, Dr. Anthony Marra suggests you follow these five easy hygiene tips to keep your toothbrush sanitized.
- Clean your toothbrush thoroughly after brushing. Rinse your toothbrush carefully to remove any toothpaste or food debris from the bristles.
- Store your brush in an upright position. Buy a toothbrush holder for your bathroom instead of leaving your brush flat on the counter. Storage in the upright position allows your toothbrush to air-dry thoroughly before the next use. Also, avoid having your toothbrush touch other toothbrushes in the holder to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don’t store your brush in closed containers. Avoid covering your toothbrush or storing it in cabinets or other closed containers. A moist environment can be a breeding ground for germs.
- Never share your toothbrush. This should be a no-brainer, right? Sharing a brush poses health risks as it exposes you to the bodily fluids and germs of another person. Toothbrush sharing can be particularly dangerous for a person with a compromised immune system.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Over time toothbrush bristles become worn and will not clean your teeth as effectively. Children may need to replace toothbrushes more frequently than 3-4 months. Also, remember to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick.