During a routine dental check-up, your dentist typically instructs you on essential oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing teeth. However, it is usually uncommon for them to teach you how to properly care for your toothbrush to ensure it effectively safeguards your teeth. A toothbrush is crucial for dental hygiene. As such, you must know how to care for it properly and how often you should replace it to prevent bacteria buildup. Please continue reading and schedule an appointment with one of our adept general dentistry/dentists located in Basking Ridge & Morristown, NJ, to learn about the steps you should take to keep your toothbrush clean.
How should I care for my toothbrush to prevent bacteria buildup?
When you brush your teeth, it’s vital to remember to be gentle. While brushing your teeth, you should not aggressively apply too much pressure to your teeth. It can damage your enamel and cause your gums to bleed. That being said, it is not only bad for your teeth, but it is also bad for your toothbrush as well. When you brush too roughly, applying too much pressure on the toothbrush will cause the bristles to bend. When this occurs, the follicles become misshapen, causing them to become less effective in doing their job of protecting your teeth.
When brushing your teeth, you use toothpaste to clean them. However, many people neglect to remove excess toothpaste and bacteria that may get left behind on your toothbrush if you don’t rinse properly. To prevent bacteria growth, thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after use and before putting it away. A quick rinse under the sink can help keep your toothbrush clean.
Without realizing the potential consequences, most people, after brushing their teeth, leave their toothbrush soaking wet. However, moist objects can harbor bacteria and mold, which cannot survive in dry environments. Therefore, it’s best to avoid leaving your toothbrush wet after brushing your teeth to prevent bacteria and mold accumulation. To prevent bacteria growth, you should air dry your toothbrush and keep it in an upright position.
To keep your toothbrush clean and dry, you should store it in a proper place. As mentioned above, it is essential to keep it stored in an upright position. You can do this either with a holder that’s designed for toothbrushes or attach it to your bathroom mirror. Avoid storing it in a small, enclosed area that won’t dry properly. Also, don’t keep it stored near the toilet or where it may come in contact with bacteria emitted from toilet flushes. Store it in an open space where the air can kill bacteria.
How often should you replace it?
When visiting their dentist, a common question is how often they should replace their toothbrush. Generally, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Doing so will help prevent excessive bacteria buildup that could make your toothbrush less effective. When you notice your toothbrush is wearing down and the worn-out bristles are doing more damage than good, it is time to replace your toothbrush. Visiting your dentist for routine cleanings every six months is also essential.
As you can see, it’s vital to maintain your toothbrush for your oral health. For more information on properly caring for your toothbrush and overall dental hygiene, schedule an appointment with an experienced dentist from the Dental Associates of Basking Ridge today.